By Natalie Melas

This e-book is ready tradition and comparability. beginning with the historical past of the self-discipline of comparative literature and its forgotten relation to the positivist comparative strategy, it inquires into the assumption of comparability in a postcolonial global. comparability was once Eurocentric by way of exclusion whilst it utilized in basic terms to eu literature, and Eurocentric by way of discrimination whilst it tailored evolutionary versions to put ecu literature on the leading edge of human improvement. This e-book argues that inclusiveness isn't a enough reaction to postcolonial and multiculturalist demanding situations since it leaves the foundation of equivalence unquestioned. the purpose isn't really just to carry extra gadgets below comparability, yet really to ascertain the method of comparability. The booklet bargains a brand new method of the either/or of relativism and universalism, during which comparability is both most unlikely or assimilatory, by way of focusing as a substitute on a variety of kinds of “incommensurability”—comparisons during which there's a flooring for comparability yet no foundation for equivalence. every one bankruptcy develops a selected type of such cultural comparability from readings of vital novelists (Joseph Conrad, Simone Schwartz-Bart), poets (Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott), and theorists (Edouard Glissant, Jean-Luc Nancy).

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A poem of 1927 expresses his reservations about the "social command": an old woman is making her way through the streets of Leningrad, walking to save carfare. The poet gives her seven kopeks for her trip and then exclaims: Comrade! Singer of attacks and cannons, Sculptor of red human statues, Forgive me! - I pity old ladies, But this is my only shortcoming. 21 The self-mocking humor of this passage is typical of much of Svetlov's subsequent poetry. In the literary world of socialist realism he became a romantic ironist.

Every day they meet me, see me off . . It seems I've now been wreathed with respect, Like a herring, garnished with onions. 24 More than a decade after his death, Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) has yet to receive the critical acclaim he deserves in the Soviet Union. In the Soviet literary world he is recognized, unofficially, as a great Russian poet. But lingering political and ideological inhibitions, largely resulting from the controversies surrounding the novel Doctor Zhivago and the abortive award of the Nobel Prize, have caused conservative or cautious critics to slight him.

Some of Pasternak's wartime poetry was acceptably patriotic, but after the war he was again attacked for having remained too far above the battle. Meanwhile, he began working intensively on Doctor Zhivago, which he completed in 1955. The Poems m this Soviet Russian literature since Stalin 42 novel, and the numerous lyrics he wrote in the last five years of his life, are perhaps his finest accomplishment. Pasternak did indeed respond to the amelioration of the social and intellectual atmosphere of the fifties, although his poetry remained characteristically free of journalistic or publicistic notes.

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