October 22, 2018: Zhang Longxi , City University of Hong Kong: “The Yet-Unknown World Literature”
Room 434, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
World literature does not mean all the literature produced in the world. There are several attempts at defining world literature, and if we take into consideration both theoretical discussions and the practice of reading, I would argue that world literature has so far been limited to only a small number of globally known, and largely European or Western canonical works, while much of the work outside the Western canon remains unknown as world literature. It is the task of scholars in comparative literature and world literature to change that situation, face the challenging questions about translation or translatability, and bring all the worthy works of the different literary traditions to the sphere of world literature true to its name.
ZHANG Longxi is Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. He is an elected foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and of Academia Europaea, and currently President of the International Comparative Literature Association. He is the author of The Tao and the Logos: Literary Hermeneutics, East and West (Duke, 1992); Mighty Opposites: From Dichotomies to Differences in the Comparative Study of China (Stanford, 1998); Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West (Cornell, 2005); Unexpected Affinities: Reading across Cultures (Toronto, 2007); and From Comparison to World Literature (SUNY, 2015).