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  • A Research Guide
  • Literary Movements

What is World Literature

What is world literature, other necessary literary terms you must know, the norton anthology of world literature, the iliad literary analysis.

Useful information: Lolita book summary and analysis.

How to Write World Literature  – Basic Tips Where to Start

  • Assign yourself a topic: world literature is bulky and in order to simplify your task, you need a specific topic. Ascertain your topic and comprehend the task(s) before you. It is after you have ascertained and understood your assigned topic that you can move to the next phase.
  • Get resourceful materials that are related to the topic and Analyze: while writing world literature, you will need to explore many materials, their structure and concept. After getting your facts right; try relating it to your aim and stances.
  • Whatever your topic is, analyze the history of your subjects: give your work a historical basis by citing historical stances and relating your stances with political, cultural, or social references.
  • Make reasonable Comparison in your paper: in order to bring out differences between two or more concepts or subject, you will have to compare and contrast them—so as to bring a very logical conclusion. Comparing helps to draw valid conclusions about global views, ethics, rhetorical goals or literary techniques.
Read also: Research paper on Their Eyes Were Watching God .

Below are the two types of comparison papers:

  • Writing on Translation: the aim of writing on translation is to compare various translations of the same work. Thereby, allowing you to evaluate the translator’s view on specific aspects of the texts. Also, it exposes the ways individual perspective influence the judgment of a text.
  • Writing on Adaptation: the main goal of such comparison is to put two literary works—in which one is a creative response to the other. Ore example The Lion King, made by Disney is an adaptation of Hamlet, the original work of Shakespeare. Writing on adaptation fully aims at bringing up a valid argument on the possible similarities and differences between the authentic work and the adaptation.
Read also: Literary analysis of Gone With The Wind .

Use correct citations:

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Why Should My Student Take World Literature?

Jan 29, 2020

Students often take four years of English classes in high school. An introductory course to literary analysis, American literature, and British literature can be found in most schools across the country.  World Literature is often underrepresented, however, and it is more important than ever! Here’s why you don’t want to miss this course as you plan your student’s high school years:

Lets find out, What is world literature and why is world literature important?

World Literature Gives Us Context for Other Studies:

  • World literature brings studies in history, geography, and foreign language to life. Stories are memorable because they take us into specific characters’ lives and their experiences in time, allowing us to live through them.  World Literature helps students become familiar with the locations, history, and culture of places they study but may not have personal experience with.  We can explore ancient Greece with The Odyssey, visit a WWII concentration camp with The Diary of Anne Frank, or discover life in rural China through Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth . Such works cause the places we study to come to life.  World literature allows students to “live” through all of these places and pick up countless cultural and historical details as they get swept away in the plot.
  • The popular idiom “America is a melting pot” portrays how diverse the United States is; we are a nation made up of people from many other nations. Our country is relatively young, and because of that, our history is closely tied to many other places in the world.  World Literature helps us get to know our own histories better, as well as those of our neighbors.

Modern Applications of World Literature:

  • It’s no secret we live in a more diverse world than ever before. In this digital age where it’s easy to be unkind behind a screen or to curate our media and newsfeeds to support our particular biases and preferences, stories can help develop compassion and empathy outside of our relational spheres.
  • By growing in our understanding of other worldviews, cultures, and histories through World Literature, we learn to think deeply about our own. We can grow in wisdom when we see the complex challenges, motivations, and stories of those different from us.  For instance, opportunities for learning are almost endless when we examine such works as Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Machevilli’s The Prince, or Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Looking at militia strategies, political and governmental values, and the power of media and collective opinion are just some of the things these works address that have countless relevant and critical applications today. World Literature gives us examples, both positive and negative, that help us understand current challenges and potential solutions.

World literature is critical to understanding our neighbor, to growing in compassion and wisdom, and to thinking critically about our world today.  As we find ourselves in an increasingly globalized society, we must have knowledge that includes nations, cultures, and worldviews beyond our own borders.  World literature can bring these topics to life in a memorable way through story.

Check out our English II: World Literature class here!

what is world literature for you

Jenny Cutler graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Education, and in 2012 with a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education, both from Eastern University.  Jenny taught in both private and public schools until she had her first child and decided to stay home with him.  She ran a tutoring business during her first few years as a stay at home parent but found teaching online to be an ideal fit for her, and she made the switch in 2014. 

what is world literature for you

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Excelsior Classes, LLC or the consortium of teachers.

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What Is World Literature?

  • David Damrosch

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World literature was long defined in North America as an established canon of European masterpieces, but an emerging global perspective has challenged both this European focus and the very category of “the masterpiece.” The first book to look broadly at the contemporary scope and purposes of world literature, What Is World Literature? probes the uses and abuses of world literature in a rapidly changing world. In case studies ranging from the Sumerians to the Aztecs and from medieval mysticism to postmodern metafiction, David Damrosch looks at the ways works change as they move from national to global contexts. Presenting world literature not as a canon of texts but as a mode of circulation and of reading, Damrosch argues that world literature is work that gains in translation. When it is effectively presented, a work of world literature moves into an elliptical space created between the source and receiving cultures, shaped by both but circumscribed by neither alone. Established classics and new discoveries alike participate in this mode of circulation, but they can be seriously mishandled in the process. From the rediscovered Epic of Gilgamesh in the nineteenth century to Rigoberta Menchú’s writing today, foreign works have often been distorted by the immediate needs of their own editors and translators. Eloquently written, argued largely by example, and replete with insightful close readings, this book is both an essay in definition and a series of cautionary tales.

what is world literature for you

" What Is World Literature? has become a touchstone of every debate on the subject."—Alexander Beecroft, Modern Philology

"A stunning achievement. Damrosch gives 'world literature' the largest possible scope—ranging from cuneiform to hieroglyphics, from low German to Nahuatl—a jaunt across several millennia and a dozen languages."—Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University

"Displaying great intelligence, immense literary and historical culture, and unassuming modesty, Damrosch intervenes in contemporary debates over 'world literature.' Readers will be dumbfounded by his range. He treats cuneiform-inscribed shards, Egyptian hieroglyphics, medieval German female mystics, Inca chronicles, Kafka translations and contemporary Native protest literature will equal philological attention, poise and erudition."—Wlad Godzich, University of California, Santa Cruz

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what is world literature for you

What is world literature?

World literature is the totality of all national literatures. The formation of literature in different countries happened not at the same time, which is connected with the emergence of writing and artistic creativity.

Each nation`s literature has its own artistic and national features. World literature is very important for the studying, still the literature of one country develops together with other national literatures. They enrich each other borrowing certain literary elements. There are a lot of scientific works on world literature, which explain the peculiarities of this phenomenon. As a concept, world literature emerged only in the 19 th century when the literary connections of different countries had spread and strengthened.

The term “world literature” was introduced by Jogann Wolfgang von Goethe. He used the word “Weltliteratur” in 1827. Goethe studied the characteristic features and interrelationships of different national literatures, the tendencies of their development and their achievements. He studied the works of famous writers which presented different literary phenomena of different historic periods.

He claimed that literature shouldn`t be restrained by national boundaries. In 1894 the world saw the first book about world literature – “The history of world literature”. The world literature emerged because of the development of global economic and cultural relations. This global literary process was also caused by the rapid development of national literatures. In the history of world literature we define several stages of its development such as the literature of Bronze Age, Classical literature, Early Medieval literature, Medieval Literature, Early Modern and Modern literature.

World literature is the cultural heritage of all humanity. It is essential to study world literature as it helps us understand the life of different people from all over the world, forms our world-outlook and acquaints us with the masterpieces of literature.

Is it difficult to write in world literature?

Those students who study world literature can be definitely asked to accomplish different academic writing assignments. Academic writing in world literature helps teachers develop students` critical thinking and it is also a wonderful method of assessment. It can be not an easy task as there are a lot of writing conventions which are not easy to follow. Moreover, reading a lot of literature, some students can still lack in important writing skills.

In case you are in a difficult situation and you don`t know what to do with your academic paper on world literature you can get the professional help contacting the custom writing service. The professional authors who specialize in the literature will definitely help you get rid of your writing complexities and make your work high quality and perfect.

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  1. What Is the Importance of World Literature?

    World literature is a way of communicating and preserving important details of culture, traditions and attitudes. Literature is comprised of language, and language is a form of communication.

  2. Unlock the World of Literature: 10 Websites to Find Free Reads Online

    In today’s digital age, accessing literature has never been easier. With just a few clicks, you can dive into a world of books and stories from the comfort of your own home. Project Gutenberg is a pioneer in the world of digital libraries.

  3. What Is Afro-Asian Literature?

    Afro-Asian literature is literature that encompasses the cultural and political world of people with both African and Asian heritage.The term was coined around 1950 to 1955 and relates to people who share the two cultures.

  4. World Literature Definition, Topics & Authors

    World literature can be defined as works of literature that have been created, distributed, and circulated beyond their country of origin. These

  5. World literature

    World literature is used to refer to the total of the world's national literature and the circulation of works into the wider world beyond their country of

  6. What is 'world literature'?

    World literature refers to the sum total of literary works independent of their origin which are in circulation. It usually introduces us to works of

  7. How To Define World Literature

    World literature is a vibrant field that encompasses literary works from diverse cultures and languages, transcending national boundaries.

  8. What is World Literature

    Currently, world literature is regarded as a general term used to describe the entirety of global literature/the circulation of literary materials into all

  9. Why Should My Student Take World Literature?

    World literature brings studies in history, geography, and foreign language to life. Stories are memorable because they take us into specific

  10. What is World Literature?

    For the best user experience on this site, you should have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Skip to Content. English Select Language English. Afrikaans

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    When it is effectively presented, a work of world literature moves into an elliptical space created between the source and receiving cultures, shaped by both


    In this frame of mind you say, with T S Eliot, that Dante is a classic but

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    Wang Ning began by asking the status of world literature in an age of proliferating new media and popular culture. I think you must have made some new Chinese

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    World literature is the totality of all national literatures. The formation of literature in different countries happened not at the same time, which is