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World Literature

A German statesman and writer named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe first used the words “world literature” in a reference to the dissemination of literary works to and from countries all over the world. In letters written about national literature in 1827 to Johann Eckermann, the statesman said that this term was now more or less meaningless since the “epoch of world literature is at hand,” and that everyone should work towards hastening its approach. In modern terms, world literature is a reference to any works of literature that have been translated into numerous languages and distributed to readers beyond the country from which the work originated.

The concept of “world literature” is certainly not new, but while new media-related technologies emerge at a rapid rate, new methods for disseminating literary works between countries emerge at a correspondingly fast rate. Thus, as new methods of delivering literature to readers around the world emerge, a lot of scholars are looking at the implications of translating literature, how literature impacts culture, and how culture can have a transforming effect on books. Undoubtedly, as a tool for the analysis of globalization, world literature can be quite amazing since it represents a great example of how it is possible to share information across cultures and languages.

Studying world literature is an excellent tool in the sphere of global studies since it covers several themes that are vital in helping us understand globalization. As a concept, world literature has the ability to show how various types of information are distributed and shared among nations and cultures. It offers insight and knowledge into the way cultural documents and artifacts undergo various transformations as they travel across boundaries and languages. Moreover, world literature has the ability to improve understanding of how new media-related technologies may be accommodating globalization by virtue of creating a public-accessible space for transmitting literature and a number of other types of information around the world.

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