In his article, "On the Comparison of Interliterary Configurations," Armin Paul Frank proposes to draw conceptual and methodological conclusions from what comparatists know but do not always act upon, namely that comparison is essential to an understanding of literature because most authors of primary literature write comparatistically. They inscribe in their texts similarities or differences or both to extant international (and national) texts and sources. This is how literary meaning is produced, this is how status is implicitly but effectively ascribed to works, authors, and literatures, and thus resulting in (inter)cultural work including the enriching of a national literature. From a comprehensive perspective, this is how the history of literature -- which differs from, but is not unrelated to, the history of literary life -- is being made: Not intra-nationally nor in the context of an indiscriminate internationality but within configured sets of more or less closely connected literatures that change throughout time. In order to outline the internationalist making of American literatures and to compare typically American configurations of interliterary processes, Frank presents a number of such interliterary configurations.
Frank, Armin Paul.
"On the Comparison of Interliterary Configurations."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 364 times as of 04/21/14. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).