David Damrosch’s writings on world literature envision readers “making themselves at home abroad.” This essay argues against
his Thoreauvian optimism, given a world that is too large to grasp or to become a home. World literature cannot be naturalized.
Drawing on examples from Leibniz, Achebe, Walcott, and Petrarch, the essay proposes that world literature is best identified
in terms not of the value of authors and works, nor of the situations portrayed through the characters and plots, but of the
nature of the readerly experience. It examines the style of representation in world literature, which Brian Lennon’s book
In Babel’s Shadow productively characterizes as a kind of kitsch reflecting a struggle to communicate. World literature is not, as Damrosch
says, “writing that gains in translation,” but writing that retains its alienness even in the original.
Alves, F. & Liparini Campos, T. 2009. Translation technology in time: investigating the impact of translation memory systems and time pressure on types of internal and external support. In: Göpferich, S