VENUE: Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Stijlkamer van Ravesteijn, 15:00-17:00
Monday, June 7 2010
This paper intervenes in contemporary discussions of World Literature in the Anglo-American academy, which frequently reference Goethe, Marx and Engels, and later Auerbach from the German speaking World. With the inclusion of Hermann Hesseʼs conceptualization of a library of world literature in his essay, “Eine Bibliothek der Welt Literatur” (1929), the paper spotlights a hitherto under-discussed text, which proposes new standards of world literary comparison in the 20th century. The paper makes a case for comparative examination of World literatures beyond the Western literary landscape. To this end, it argues for an inclusion of libraries— private and public—as spaces of circulation, distribution, and classification of literatures. The paper focuses on three key terms: the Bibliothek, the Bibliograph, and the Bibliophile to imagine World literature as a transactional space conditioned by Bibliomigrancy—physical and virtual movement of books from one part of the world to another.
B.Venkat Mani is Associate Professor of German at UW-Madison and faculty affiliate of Centers of Global Studies, German and European Studies, and South Asia Studies. He leads UW-Madisonʼs World Literature/s Research Workshop. He was educated in India, Germany, and the United States. He is the author of Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007). He has published articles on cosmopolitanism, postcolonial theory, globalization, migration, language, and politics of pedagogy. He is currently working on a book-length project, “Borrowing Privileges: World Literatures and Bibliomigrancy”, a study on comparative literature and world literature with a
special focus on public and private libraries. Current projects include a translation, from German into English, of three essays by Hermann Hesse on the topic of World Literature, and a new Hindi translation of Bertolt Brechtʼs Die Dreigroschenoper. Recent grants include a DAAD Grant for the research collaborative “Positioning ʻModernʼ Germany: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism, Colonialism, Migration.”