In his paper "Nabokov and World Literature" Charles Stanley Ross thinks through the relationship between comparative literature and cultural studies by considering the absence of Nabokov's work in The Norton Anthology of World Literature. The problem seems to be that Nabokov's works are not susceptible to the kind of varying interpretations favored by the Norton's editors, although in practice, Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran, for example, shows that even Nabokov's tightly controlled fiction can generate diverse responses. The more complex modes of reading that form the basis of David Damrosch's What is World Literature? are used to interrogate just how certain texts enter the canon of world literature. According to Ross, a survey of websites suggests that cultural studies is almost anything at all while at the same time there is general agreement, which perhaps needs challenging, that what defines the field is that it expands the horizon of academic analysis beyond high culture. In sum, Ross argues that were cultural studies enriched with some of the established practices of comparative literature, cultural studies would indeed develop into a formidable discipline.
Ross, Charles Stanley.
"Nabokov and World Literature."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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