Volume 3, Issue 4 (2013)                   JCLL 2013, 3(4): 103-119 | Back to browse issues page

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Zekavat M. Critical Theory as Comparative Literature. JCLL. 2013; 3 (4) :103-119
URL: http://journals.modares.ac.ir/article-14-1015-en.html
Unaffiliated Scholar, Department of English Language & Literature, Shiraz, Fars, Iran
Abstract:   (3048 Views)
 “Crisis of comparative literature” has not desisted after six decades: David Damrosch substitutes world literature for comparative literature, Tötösy de Zepetnek proposes the idea of a “new comparative literature,” Djelal Kadir promotes “a negotiated comparative literature,” Susan Bassnett is skeptical about the essence of comparative literature, and Gayatri Spivak has already declared the discipline’s death. Comparative literature has long allied its fate with that of critical theory. Today, subaltern, postcolonial and gender studies are among the advocated approaches in comparative literature. However, they all originate in critical theory. Besides, the two tracks of comparative literature-inter-literary and inter-disciplinary-are also similar to critical theory. In fact, comparative literature and literary theory and criticism are so intertwined that some scholars go as far as identifying them with each other. However, some comparatists are skeptical about theory. Legitimate doubts are expressed about the application of foreign theories to native cultural products. Yet, certain texts from certain cultures and literatures smoothly allow a rich application of one or more of foreign approaches or their modified and localized versions. Reading a certain cultural product within a foreign theoretical framework-as far as it is feasible-can offer rich and exciting possibilities in the study of world literature. This is actually a way to understand a literature or culture through the eyes of others.  The fate of comparative literature, thus, is bound with that of critical theory. Developments in critical theory, especially recent ones, offer suggestions for new perspectives in comparative literature. Surely, the intelligent employment of theoretical prospects can prove to open new vistas in comparative literature.  
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Received: 2011/11/11 | Accepted: 2012/01/25 | Published: 2012/02/20

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