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Abstract

In his article "Worlding Literatures between Dialogue and Hegemony" Marko Juvan claims that during its late capitalist renaissance, the Goethean idea of Weltliteratur is interpreted either in terms of intercultural dialogism or hegemony embodied in the asymmetrical structure of the world literary system. Launching the concept of Weltliteratur during the emergence of the early industrial globalization, Goethe initiated a long-lasting transnational meta-discourse that influenced the development of transnational literary practices. In his aristocratic, cosmopolitan humanism, Goethe expected world literature to open up an equal dialogue between civilizations and languages encouraging cross-national networking of the educated elite. However, his notion of dialogue is marked by the hegemony of Western aesthetic and humanistic discourse based on the European classics. Marx and Engels exposed aesthetic and humanist cosmopolitanism as the ideology masking European bourgeoisie's global economic hegemony and the worldwide expansion of Western geoculture. It is within this ambivalence of dialogism and hegemony that the process of "worlding" (Kadir) and nationalizing of European literatures has taken place since the early nineteenth century.