The real world literature

The real world literature

This entire course has been about tasting the literature’s of civilizations and societies from all around the world. But one thing that has been largely true of nearly all the works we’ve read is that each is, ultimately, and example of a specific culture. Our European writers wrote within their own world, to each other, as did our Japanese, Chinese, Russian and other authors.

There are all kinds of things we could examine in the works we’re reading for these last two weeks. What I’ve decided to focus on is what makes these very different writers distinctive from those who came before: all were operating in a genuinely multi-cultural world, writing to audiences beyond the confines of their own societies, consciously mixing native conventions with the many strains of world literature. To keep things a bit more straightforward, I’ve assigned works from a single genre — the short story. This will let you draw out your reflections without worrying about trying to compare very different kinds of writing, such as poetry and drama or fiction and essays.

Here’s what I’d like you to reflect on in your initial (again, substantial) post:

Consider these stories in the light of the cultural upheaval that has taken place since the fall of the Colonial powers and the intruduction of Globalization, fueled by global communications. How do they both reflect their author’s native culture and the influences of that wider world? For each, what makes it distinctive, unique? Finally, what did you take away from it — how did it challenge or suprise your own perceptions of your culture or that represented by the authors?

Though I’d like you to touch briefly on each story, you may focus your discussion on one or two of the stories you liked best.

Yes, this is a fairly open ended question. These are works about which folks like me haven’t had a great deal of time to analyze and categorize. Apply your own understanding, trained now after a semester of reading and writing about this stuff!


Reading Materials:

“Postwar and Postcolonial Literature, 1945-1968” (1435-1439)

“The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman”, Clarice Lispector (1554-1560)

“Chike’s School Days”, Chinua Achebe (1561-1566)

“Zaabalawi”, Naguib Mahfouz (1596-1606)

“Contemporary World Literature” (1611-1618)

“Yellow Woman”, Leslie Marmon Silko (1683-1690)

“Man of La Mancha”, Chu T’ien-Hsin (1742-1750)




Solution Preview

Literature mainly consists of written works of people trying to share information, express their feelings and views on particular topics, and sometimes cover certain historical events. Most of the knowledge we acquire is gotten from literature. In this case, we will be covering the uniqueness of how authors wrote different kinds of literature about the fall of colonial powers.

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