|SPA Literatura comparada|
The academic discipline of Comparative Literature originated in the 19th century alongside other new fields such as Comparative Law or Comparative Philology. The aim of those disciplines was to find what was common to different legal systems, different languages or, in the case of Comparative Literature, different literatures. The origin of the term has been debated, but its first steps were taken, undoubtedly, in France. The first record of the term is to be found in the volume Cours de littérature comparée, which brought together several texts published in 1816 by Jean-François-Michel Noël, but it bore little resemblance to what Comparative Literature would become. The pioneers in the field were Abel-François Villemain, Philarète Chasles and Jean-Jacques Ampère. Comparative Literature was established as a field of study with the contributions of Charles-Augustin Saint-Beuve, who used the term in a conference in 1868, even though previously, in 1840, he had already talked about “compared literary history.” The first specialised journal on the topic was published in Cluj, Romania, in 1877, and was run by Hugo Meltzl. The title appeared in several languages, with the meaning 'comparative literature journal'. In 1879, it became Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum. The term in English was made popular by Hutcheson Macaulay Posnett in a work published in 1886, precisely under the name Comparative Literature.
Comparative literature is the study of literature and other cultural expressions across linguistic and cultural boundaries Usually it focuses on the analysis and comparison of works and authors using two different languages, but it can also study literatures written in the very same language, if they are shared by two national or cultural groups. It can also deal with the relation between literature and other artistic means of expression or, in a broader sense, with the relation between literature and other intellectual human activities. Comparatists are supposed to be fluent in a number of foreign languages, and be familiar with two or more literary traditions and literary theory. This work analyses the reasons why literary translation has traditionally been considered an activity (or a product) qualitatively inferior to literary writing and original texts; it considers the way in which Comparative Literature has questioned the legitimacy of studying texts in translation, especially when they belonged to European literary traditions and the way in which this reluctance was overcome when Comparative Literature adopted a multiculturalist bias; it highlights the contributions made by Translation Studies to the study of literary translation, understood as a product and from a descriptive point of view; finally, it analyses contemporary reformulations of the concept of “world literature” and some scholarly arguments against it.
|Luis Pegenaute Rodríguez|
|Pegenaute Rodríguez, Luis. 2022. "Comparative literature and translation" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.|