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On Literary Worlds$
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Eric Hayot

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926695.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
On Literary Worlds

Eric Hayot

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter begins by considering efforts to expand the boundaries of modernism beyond their usual confines, first by adding women authors and then by expanding the reach of modernism beyond the Anglophone. It suggests that each of these approaches has the same weakness, in that it produces literary value by placing authors and artists into an already existing theory of modernism whose center remains European. The problem of the non-West's apparent incapacity to generate literary history in the modern period has nothing to do with sexism or racism or Anglocentrism per se, but with the way in which the categories governing the way we think about literary history have made it impossible to write a history of modernism (and indeed of modernity) that included the non-West as an equal partner in its production. The chapter then presents an overview of the three parts of the book, followed by answers to some questions about the book's choices and limitations, about its position in larger conversations.

Keywords:   modernism, aesthetics, literary history, non-West

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