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  • 1 Eötvös University, Faculty of Humanities Department of Comparative Literature Múzeum krt. 4., H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
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How far can canon and language be sources of (dis)continuity in literary history? Continuity and discontinuity are concepts of such complexity that only philosophers can hope to make a successful attempt to define them in general terms. All I can offer is a tentative analysis of their significance for literary history. Since even such an investigation would ask for a lengthy treatment if conducted on an abstract level, I shall limit myself to reflections on how continuity and discontinuity are related to the concepts of canon and language. In the second half of my paper a personified abstraction called nation will also be introduced with the intention of making some remarks on the legitimacy of the terms national and world literature. The essay also raises the question of whether it is possible to write literary history in a postmodern world.

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