Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-vkn6t Total loading time: 0.774 Render date: 2022-08-16T08:26:51.852Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

12 - Saving Europe through Weltliteratur: The Case of Victor Klemperer

from Part II - Thinking the World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 August 2021

Debjani Ganguly
University of Virginia
Get access


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.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Apter, Emily. 2003. “Global Translatio: The ‘Invention’ of Comparative Literature, Istanbul, 1933.” Critical Inquiry, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Winter): 253–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Apter, Emily. 2004. “Saidian Humanism.” boundary 2, Vol. 31, No. 2: 3553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Auerbach, Erich. 1953. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Auerbach, Erich 1958. Literatursprache und Publikum in der lateinischen Spätantike und im Mittelalter. Franke Verlag.Google Scholar
Auerbach, Erich 1993. Literary Language and Its Public in Late Latin Antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Brockmann, Stephen. 2015. “The Postwar Restoration in East and West.” New German Critique, Vol. 42, No. 3: 6990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Curtius, Ernst Robert. 1953. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Trans. Trask, Willard. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Curtius, Ernst Robert. 1973. Essays on European Literature. Trans. Michael Kowal, . Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D’haen, Theo. 2012. The Routledge Concise History of World Literature. Routledge.Google Scholar
D’haen, Theo, Domínguez, César, and Thomsen, Mads Rosendahl, eds. 2013. World Literature: A Reader. Routledge.Google Scholar
Etiemble, René. 1975. “Faut-il réviser la notion de Weltliteratur?” In Essais de littérature (vraiment) générale. 3rd ed. Gallimard.Google Scholar
Facundo, Espino, Román. 2016. “The German Who Happened to Be a Jew: Time, History, and Identity in Victor Klemperer’s Diary.” Oxford German Studies, Vol. 44, No. 4: 383415.Google Scholar
Friederich, Werner P. 1960. “On the Integrity of Our Planning.” The Teaching of World Literature, edited by Block, Haskell M., The University of North Carolina Press, pp. 922.Google Scholar
Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. 2002. Vom Leben und Sterben der grossen Romanisten. Carl Hanser Verlag,Google Scholar
Klemperer, Victor. 1946. Kultur: Erwägungen nach dem Zusammenbruch des Nazismus. Neues LebenGoogle Scholar
Klemperer, Victor. 1956. vor 33 / nach 45: Gesammelte Aufsätze. Akademie-Verlag.Google Scholar
Klemperer, Victor. 2010. Literatura universal y literatura europea. Trans. Jorge Seca, Acantilado.Google Scholar
Moulton, Richard G. 1911. World Literature and Its Place in General Culture. Macmillan.Google Scholar
Richards, Jeffery. 1999. “National Identity and Recovering Memories in Contemporary Germany: The Reception of Victor Klemperer’s Diaries.” German Politics and Society, Vol. 17, No. 3: 121–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seeba, Hinrich C. 2003. “Ernst Robert Curtius: Zur Kulturkritik eines Klassiker in der Wisschenschaftsgeschichte.” Monatshefte, Vol. 95, No. 4: 532–40.Google Scholar
Sepp, Arvi. 2010. “Humanität und Deutschtum. Die ikonische Bedeutung von Goethe, Schiller und Lessing als deutschjüdische Identifikationsfiguren in Victor Klemperers Tagebüchern 1933–1945.” Publications of the English Goethe Society, Vol. 79, No. 2: 113–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spitzer, Leo. 1948. Linguistics and Literary History: Essays in Stylistics. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats