Reference : On Small Literatures and their Location in World Literature: a case study of Luxembou...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Literature
On Small Literatures and their Location in World Literature: a case study of Luxembourgish Literature
Glesener, Jeanne mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus
[en] Small literatures ; World Literature ; Luxembourgish Literatures
[en] If the concept of world literature has, in the past, most often been criticized for its concentration on Western literatures and has hence been opened up to the rest of the world, it is worthwhile to launch a debate on the fate of ‘small’ European literatures, which, per definition, have very little visibility on the international literary scene which results in their relative absence in the canon of world literature.

Underlying the concept of world literature is a whole infrastructure based on power relations and power structures – and incidentally it is interesting to note the parallel frequently drawn between the workings of the world economy and world literature – whose management seems primarily to rest with culturally dominant nations. The power relations and power positions allow them a greater contribution to the canon of world literature or so it seems.
Despite the debatable generality of this statement, the question remains however whether the deconstruction, re-invention and re-thinking of the concept of world literature has been refigured in a way so as to grant literary works of ‘small’ literatures the possibility to be recognized as or to contribute to world literature? What are on the other hand the conditions for a work of literature to be recognized as world literature? What resources or means do ‘small’ literatures have at their disposal in order for one of their literary works to be one day counted among world literature? How do international literary prizes, as for example the European Prize for Literature, further the cause of ‘small’ literatures?

In this paper, these general questions will be examined in relation to the case of Luxembourg’s literatures in Luxemburgish, French and German.

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