Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 August 2021
The overwhelming majority of works on world literature hitherto have been written by Western scholars. The almost endemic neglect of literatures other than European or Western in these writings over the last twenty years or so has drawn heavy critical fire. Usually, such Eurocentrism has been seen as the result of either ignorance on the part of these scholars or on an ingrained cultural bias. However, a deliberate concentration on European literature, or even on a very restricted version of the latter, may also be a strategic choice in particular times and under particular circumstances. A 1929 essay by the German literary scholar Victor Klemperer illustrates my point.