Chapter

Introduction

Eric Hayot

in On Literary Worlds

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926695
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980499 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926695.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter begins by considering efforts to expand the boundaries of modernism beyond their usual confines, first by adding women authors and then by expanding the reach of modernism beyond the Anglophone. It suggests that each of these approaches has the same weakness, in that it produces literary value by placing authors and artists into an already existing theory of modernism whose center remains European. The problem of the non-West's apparent incapacity to generate literary history in the modern period has nothing to do with sexism or racism or Anglocentrism per se, but with the way in which the categories governing the way we think about literary history have made it impossible to write a history of modernism (and indeed of modernity) that included the non-West as an equal partner in its production. The chapter then presents an overview of the three parts of the book, followed by answers to some questions about the book's choices and limitations, about its position in larger conversations.

Keywords: modernism; aesthetics; literary history; non-West

Chapter.  6709 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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