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Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 The International of Excreta : World Literature and Its Other
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Andrew McCann suggests that 'Australian literature, for all its cosmopolitanism, does not enter easily, if at all, into the category of what David Damrosch calls 'world literature'. McCann cites a recent example of Henry Lawson's short stories being considered 'too idiosyncratically Australian', and therefore not sufficiently appealing, for an intended international audience of a proposed anthology. McCann enters into the dialogue on issues of nationalism and literature; he views the current notion of a 'world literature' as an abstraction and juxtaposes it with the idea of a 'literature of globalisation'.

McCann uses Juan Goytisolo's novel State of Siege to illustrate his case. He views the novel as 'neither canonical nor consumerist in its orientation'. Rather than placing it 'outside the realm of the marketplace', McCann suggests that Goytisolo's work is in 'a productive (and commercially risky) dialogue with its dominant forms and discourses'. This is not 'world literature', he concludes, 'but its other, and we will only encounter it, and create it, by loosening a sense that discrete national cultures are our only defences against a global culture industry, and by questioning the idea that a term as perpetually mystified as "the popular" necessarily brings us closer to the interests and experiences it purports to represent'.

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Overland The Frightened Country no. 186 Autumn 2007 Z1371661 2007 periodical issue 2007 pg. 20-24
Last amended 17 Apr 2007 14:03:52
20-24 The International of Excreta : World Literature and Its Othersmall AustLit logo Overland
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