Minor Measures: The Plebeian Aesthetics of World Literature in the Twentieth Century

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2010

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Abstract

Focusing on a diverse set of creative work from Europe, East and South Asia, the Americas, Middle East, and Africa, Minor Measures investigates modalities of world writing through modernist, postcolonial and contemporary transnational literatures in the intertwined moments of imperialism, developmentalism and globalism. It studies the category of world literature as a heterogeneous set of narrative-cognitive forms and comparative modes of gauging from a particular positionality the world-systemic pressures on individual and collective bodies. To this end, Minor Measures focuses on the dynamic and increasingly central role of geoliterary imagination in fashioning a secular hermeneutic that maps the relationships and overlaps between the local and the global, here and there, past and present, self and other. Moreover, it highlights the capacities of the literary aesthetics in configuring local subjectivities, affiliations and histories in relation to the abstract cartographic totality of global modernity. Shuttling back and forth between the two poles, literature as world writing refers to the unconscious framework of representing the contingencies of the lived experience of economically, racially, and geographically differentiated subjects from metropolitan, (post)colonial and diasporic positions.

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ORUC, FIRAT (2010). Minor Measures: The Plebeian Aesthetics of World Literature in the Twentieth Century. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3013.

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