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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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Literary Worlds

Literary Worlds

(p.42) Chapter 3 Literary Worlds
On Literary Worlds

Eric Hayot

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the common use of the term “world” in literary studies that speaks to the relation between literature and worlds, and has nothing to do with world-systems or world literature. We speak of “Balzac's world,” or “Hawthorne's world,” or “Rushdie's world” in ways that rely on two fairly conventional understandings of the word, neither of which is captured by the current world literature debates. In one use the word names the general social and historical space within which an author lived and worked. In its other use the phrase means something like the unity of form, diegesis, and feeling composed by the rough totality of a work: the world of the work of art.

Keywords:   world, work, literature, Hawthorne, Balzac, Rushdie

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