Comparative Literature explores an 'area of interest' rather than a special discipline. The book begins with an account of the approaches that twentieth century writers took to literature by writers other than themselves. It discusses the common tone shared by those who subscribe to a national tradition, and considers what is meant by 'the mind of Europe'. It ponders the problems of translation, and discusses the nature of comparative study at university. Lastly, the special case of American literature is treated as pointing to the need for adjustment to a new stage in the world's culture.
The criticial discussion of comparative studies provided in this book demonstrates the greater depth and vivacity that these studies can give to our ideas about literature.
- 1969 Henry Gifford
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