Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 August 2021
This essay reads world literature’s most recent (of many) emergences in relation to the tensions created by late capitalist globalization. The latter are connected to a series of points, from Goethe’s early nineteenth-century concept of Weltliteratur to midcentury postwar reanimations of the concept and the field formation of the present. Practices of reading, models of time and space, and the shadow of spectrality are points of particular focus in this survey of major contributions to the field. The essay proposes that world literature after 1989 constitutes not only an era of history but also a particular kind of hermeneutic in which periodization can be reconsidered beyond Eurochronology.