Juvan, Marko - National and Comparative Literary Histories in Slovenia: Their Histories, Current Status and Prospects

slovo:6142 - Slovo, February 25, 2020, How to think of literary history in the 21st century in the Euro-Asian space?
National and Comparative Literary Histories in Slovenia: Their Histories, Current Status and Prospects

Authors: Juvan, Marko

The article interprets literary history as a discourse involved in the identity policies of nations. From this point of view, the author presents the relations between national and comparative literary history in Slovenia. The paper outlines the origin and development of both disciplines, especially with regard to their implicit or explicit ideological underpinnings–cultural nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Until the end of the 20th century, national literary history as a “great genre” has interiorized the 19th century thrust of cultural nationalism, which also marked the institutionalization of literary historiography as a university discipline after 1919. Even though comparative literature has countered the apparently autarkic national conceptions of literary and cultural development, it produced another kind of “master narratives” through which it affirmed national identity–by providing records on the participation of Slovene literature in the “general European” currents and developmental stages. In this context, the article draws attention to the problem of belatedness of so‑called small literatures, especially in relation to the world literary system. In conclusion, the article addresses current dilemmas of literary historiography in Slovenia, which are partly specific (reticence to attempts to “reform” the discipline) and partly connected with the changes of literature and literary studies in the era of postmodern and globalization.


Volume: How to think of literary history in the 21st century in the Euro-Asian space?
Published on: February 25, 2020
Submitted on: February 24, 2020
Keywords: national literary history,comparative literature,great genre,cultural nationalism,cosmopolitanism,world literary system,littérature comparée,nationalisme culturel,cosmopolitisme,système littéraire mondial,histoire littéraire nationale,nacionalna literarna zgodovina,primerjalna književnost,veliki žanr,kulturni nacionalizem,kozmopolitizem,svetovni literarni sistem,[SHS.LITT]Humanities and Social Sciences/Literature


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