9662 - Literary Theories between East and West - It has become commonplace or rather axiomatic when speaking about literary theory to imply Western Literary Theory. Outside of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and guides, China, India, Japan, and the Middle East (amongst others) are rarely invoked, implying that these old civilizations and literary traditions have contributed very little (if anything) to the theoretical reflections on literature. This course does not aim at providing a survey of theoretical pronouncement in these literary traditions (an impossible task), but will attempt to show the relevance of these theories through juxtaposing and comparing the different theories from different cultures. Greek theories of drama (to give one example) will be juxtaposed to those of Japan, but the latter will also be compared with those of India and China. The main themes in the readings will be the conceptions of the literary and its relationship to the social and political, the literary institutions and their status within societal structures, theories of genre, and literature and thought (including religious philosophies).
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