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"Theorizing Literature from Japan, 1907," Michael Bourdaghs, University of Chicago: Talk at the Comparative Literature Luncheon

When Sep 16, 2013
from 12:15 PM to 01:20 PM
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In 1907 budding novelist Natsume Soseki publishedBungakuron (Theory of Literature),  his attempt to produce a fully scientific theory of “literature” that would be valid for all places and all times. Relying on what were then the cutting-edge disciplines of psychology and sociology, he generated a model for understanding literature that bears a remarkable resemblance to recent theories of world literature advanced by such figures as Franco Moretti and Pascale Casanova. This talk will sketch in Soseki’s theory, exploring its overlap with those recent theories but also highlighting aspects in which it differs from them in significant ways.