A History of European Literature: The West and the World by Walter Cohen

By Walter Cohen

Walter Cohen argues that the background of ecu literature and every of its common classes might be illuminated by way of comparative attention of different literary languages inside of Europe and via the binds of eu literature to global literature. global literature is marked by means of recurrent, systematic positive aspects, results of ways that language and literature are right away the goods of significant swap and its brokers. Cohen tracks those gains from precedent days to
the current, distinguishing 5 major overlapping phases. inside that framework, he exhibits that ecu literatures ongoing inner and exterior relationships are so much noticeable on the point of shape instead of of thematic assertion or mimetic illustration. eu literature emerges from world
literature earlier than the beginning of Europe — in the course of antiquity, whose Classical languages are the heirs to the advanced historical past of Afro-Eurasia. This legacy is later transmitted by means of Latin to some of the vernaculars. the individuality of the method lies within the sluggish displacement of the discovered language by way of the vernacular, lengthy ruled by way of Romance literatures. That improvement therefore informs the second one an important differentiating measurement of eu literature: the multicontinental growth of
its languages and attribute genres, specially the radical, starting within the Renaissance. This growth finally leads to the reintegration of eu literature into international literature and therefore within the production of todays worldwide literary process. the uniqueness of ecu literature is to be
found in those interrelated trajectories.

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