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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

OWRI History of Humanities Series: Professor Galin Tihanov (QMUL) 'World Literature, War, Revolution: Viktor Shklovsky’s Sentimental Journey'

25th January 2018, 16:30, Russkiy Mir Centre, A29, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

The paper uncovers the Russian Formalist Viktor Shklovsky’s previously overlooked engagement with the idea of ‘world literature’. By examining Shklovsky’s memoir A Sentimental Journey, devoted to the critical period of revolution and war (1917-22), the paper discusses Shklovsky’s active involvement in, and reaction to, early Soviet post-revolutionary constructions of ‘world literature’ – above all Maxim Gorky’s eponymous project Vsemirnaia literatura. At the same time, the paper places Shklovsky’s commitment to the idea of ‘world literature’ in the context of our contemporary debates on the subject. To understand ‘world literature’ as a specific construct, we must ask the question about the location of ‘world literature’ vis-à-vis language. This has important consequences for how we interpret the dispersed legacy of modern literary theory, in the founding of which Shklovsky had played such a crucial role.

The event is organised as part of the AHRC-funded Cross-Language Dynamics programme of research.

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