Key Points on Rebecca L. Walkowitz

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Key points on Rebecca L. Walkowitz Rebecca L. Walkwoitz starts her article by giving us Coetzee’s “Diary of a Bad Year” as an example of what she calls Comparison Literature. Coetzee’s novel meets the criteria of comparison literature due to its circulation and production formally, typographically and thematically. Rebecca goes on to state clearly the difference between the field of national literature in which the scholars share the locus of production, and the field of comparative literature in which scholars share a structure of analysis. In Rebecca’s point of view, two requirements are necessary for comparison literature: First, new geographic lines are to be drawn for the literary works. Second, preserving the study within the historical context including the different editions and translations. Transnational and cosmopolitan paradigms can be good alternatives to national models of political community. Two active writers in this domain are Judith Butler and Suzan Basnett. While the first places translation at the centre of the debate about political philosophies of the nation, the latter suggests that comparative literature needs to rethink its relationship to translation studies. Yet, both of them invoke a model of translation that emphasizes the historical uses of translation in and between cultures, the importance of translation and the ethical and intellectual imperative to keep translation irreducible. If we get back to Rebecca’s example, we find that “Diary of a Bad Year” is a work of world literature which has been written for translation; we can even say that it was born-translated due to its marvellous design allowing it to travel. It is good to mention that Comparison Literature emphasizes narrative over idiom exploring the political history of languages in formal and thematic registers
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