All posts by YT

Local writing v. global influence

“This specifically literary form of time is perceptible only by those writers on the peripheries of the world of letters who, in their openness to international experience, seek to end what they see as their exile from literature. “National” writers, by contrast, whether they live in central or outlying countries, are united in ignoring world competition (and therefore literary time) and in considering only the local norms and limits assigned to literary practice by their homelands.”

Casanova, Pascale. “The World Republic of Letters”. transl. M. B. Devoise. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999. pp. 94.

Does Casanova argue that writers should aspire past the localness that flavor their writings to build on literary time that’s established by the international literary space?


James on breaking the fourth wall

“In a digression, a parenthesis or an aside, he concedes to the reader that he and this trusting friend are only ‘making believe.’ He admits that the events he narrates have not really happened, and that he can give his narrative any turn the reader may like best. Such a betrayal of a sacred office seems to me, I confess, a terrible crime; it is what I mean by the attitude of apology, and it shocks me every whit as much in Trollope as it would have shocked me in Gibbon or Macaulay. It implies the novelist is less occupied in looking for the truth (the truth, of course I mean, that he assumes, the premises that we must grant him, whatever they may be) than the historian, and in doing so it deprives him of a stroke of all his standing-room.”

James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction.” In Partial Portraits. New York: Macmillan, 1894. Internet Archive. http://