In: World Literature Studies, vol. 14, no. 2
Year, pages: 2022, 59 - 71
World literature. Translations. Cultural transfer. Baltic German literary activities. Reading revolution. Latvian culture. Popular culture. Elite literature. Literary system of small literatures.
Article type: štúdie / articles
Document type: pdf
The concept of world literature is traditionally applied to the process in which literary texts cross national borders in the process of translation, thus getting a desired added value to be recognized on a larger scale. While fully admitting the importance of translations from small literatures to the languages of more widespread communication, our aim in this article is to demonstrate that broad circulation of translated texts in smaller languages create fascinating patterns due to their specific interpretation in local contexts that expand reception perspectives and change the terms of interpretation of world literature. The complexity of these moves is traceable through the process in which translations of popular culture are integrated into 19th-century Latvian literary activities alongside recognized classics, explicitly setting an aim of fostering the creation of a national canon. On the other hand, elite works of European literature are “provincialized” in the process of domesticating them alongside other texts of lower literary quality. The translations from both elite and popular culture thus contribute to the rise of Latvian letters, expanding the limits of the potentially influential corpus of texts that can cross the borders of one national literature. With the use of specific examples, we follow the interplay of popular and elite translations that gradually transform 19th-century Latvian literature and create a comprehensive literary system representative of a small culture.
How to cite:
Daija, P., Kalnačs, B. 2022. “Provincializing” world literature: The role of translations in shaping 19th-century Latvian culture. In World Literature Studies, vol. 14, no.2, pp. 59-71. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2022.14.2.4
Daija, P., Kalnačs, B. (2022). “Provincializing” world literature: The role of translations in shaping 19th-century Latvian culture. World Literature Studies, 14(2), 59-71. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2022.14.2.4
Publisher: ÚSvL SAV, v. v. i.
Published: 30. 6. 2022