CONVERGENCES: INVENTORIES OF THE PRESENT
Cover: The World Republic of Letters, from Harvard University PressCover: The World Republic of Letters in PAPERBACK

The World Republic of Letters

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$28.50 • £22.95 • €25.50

ISBN 9780674010215

Publication Date: 04/30/2007

Short

440 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Convergences: Inventories of the Present

World

The “world of letters” has always seemed a matter more of metaphor than of global reality. In this book, Pascale Casanova shows us the state of world literature behind the stylistic refinements—a world of letters relatively independent from economic and political realms, and in which language systems, aesthetic orders, and genres struggle for dominance. Rejecting facile talk of globalization, with its suggestion of a happy literary “melting pot,” Casanova exposes an emerging regime of inequality in the world of letters, where minor languages and literatures are subject to the invisible but implacable violence of their dominant counterparts.

Inspired by the writings of Fernand Braudel and Pierre Bourdieu, this ambitious book develops the first systematic model for understanding the production, circulation, and valuing of literature worldwide. Casanova proposes a baseline from which we might measure the newness and modernity of the world of letters—the literary equivalent of the meridian at Greenwich. She argues for the importance of literary capital and its role in giving value and legitimacy to nations in their incessant struggle for international power. Within her overarching theory, Casanova locates three main periods in the genesis of world literature—Latin, French, and German—and closely examines three towering figures in the world republic of letters—Kafka, Joyce, and Faulkner. Her work provides a rich and surprising view of the political struggles of our modern world—one framed by sites of publication, circulation, translation, and efforts at literary annexation.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown, by Emily Remus, from Harvard University Press

Going Downtown

As a child in Chicago, Emily Remus was enchanted by the sights and sounds of its downtown. Here she tells how those early experiences influenced her in writing A Shoppers’ Paradise, a book about how women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.