•  
  •  
 

Abstract

In his article "World Literatures and Romanian Literary Criticism" Caius Dobrescu argues that the notion Weltliteratur of Goethe posits the concept of world literature as the conveyor of universal (i.e., cosmopolitan) skills of socio-cultural adaptation. The influence of this form of Weltliteratur on Romanian literary criticism is traceable from Westernization in the nineteenth century to the cultural dissent of the post-Stalinist era. Based on Norbert Elias's diffusionist theory of the civilizing process, Dobrescu contends that one of the role models of the Romanian literary scholar and critic in his/her capacity of intercultural mediator was the eighteenth-century philosophe in the tradition of cosmopolitan politess.