To Staunchly “Remain a Reader” and build up a World Comradeship: Reflecting with Rabih Alameddine on World Literature
What is a classic? To what extent are books and book collections endangered goods? What is the role and meaning of literature and translation in times of hardship? In An Unnecessary Woman (2013), Rabih Alameddine addresses these questions, while also indirectly contesting traditional canonical practices based on rigid hierarchies and the logic of national and linguistic purity. Alameddine highlights the violence inscribed in the practices of book selection and canon formation. In doing so, he troubles received notions of the canon, the classics, and especially of world literature, offering an alternative conceptualization of this long-debated category as an intimate, cosmopolitan assemblage of worldly texts.
world literature; intimacy; cosmopolitanism; decolonial praxis; anti-authoritarianism
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