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Chapter 14 - World Author

On Exploding Canons and Writing towards More Equitable Literary Futures

from Part II - Development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2022

Joel Evans
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

This chapter explores how authorship plays out in literary texts and in the wider world. The starting premise is that canonical authors, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, function as focal points for the flow of both cultural and monetary value. The agency inherent within their ‘world author’ persona is accordingly distributed across a wide variety of actors. This leads to a much broader discussion of ‘world authorship’ as an extended process whereby literary writing both shapes and is shaped by the world(s) in which it exists. This process is headed up by individuals who are placed into an attitudinal relationship towards such activity, ranging from celebration through to satire an involving both human and non-human actors. I consider this first in theoretical terms, keying Goethe’s holistic understanding of how art and architecture intersect to concepts around ‘worlding’, ‘authorship’ and ‘literary imagination’, as developed by Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault and Leslie Adelson respectively. I then examine the historical context of West German publishing and how the attitudinal ‘modes of authorship’ this particular context makes apparent prefigure a contemporary turn towards a broader model of authorship that is deliberately inclusive. The recent work of the prize-winning German-language writer, Katja Petrowskaja, which builds on deep-rooted global flows of people, concepts and things and points to new ways of accessing these through language, illustrates this point.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • World Author
  • Edited by Joel Evans, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Globalization and Literary Studies
  • Online publication: 01 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108887915.015
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  • World Author
  • Edited by Joel Evans, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Globalization and Literary Studies
  • Online publication: 01 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108887915.015
Available formats
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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.

  • World Author
  • Edited by Joel Evans, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Globalization and Literary Studies
  • Online publication: 01 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108887915.015
Available formats
×