Wednesday, February 18, 2015

African Writers Bypass World Literature Centres

The flow of global capital is not to be ignored, but equally interesting are the grass-roots networks linking African writers to other regional writers—in South Asia, say, or Latin America—without necessarily going through metropolitan centers such as London, Paris, or New York. This is not the centralized and hierarchical “world republic of letters” that Pascale Casanova equates with world literature. It is a very different paradigm. And those who are spearheading this kind of research are not tenured professors but unemployed graduate students, the hundreds of people who applied for the job we advertised. - Wai Chee Dimock

This quote is from a Chronicle of Higher Education article titled A Literary Scramble for Africa.

This is great news. A grass root movement that is not driven by the West. African, Caribbean, South American and Asian countries have their own vibrant literary networks that are effective for them. In the wired world London, Paris and New York have less sway - and that is an excellent thing. The West has a tendency to see other non Western cultures as back waters populated by non persons(to paraphrase Chomsky). But the "non Persons" don't care any longer what the West thinks and this is excellent for literature.

Bring on the Revolution.


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