Development of world literature


In the early 19th century, Goethe was keen on studying oriental literature, and published "A Collection of East and West" (1819) and "Hymn of the Four Seasons of China and Germany" (1830). He emphasized the close relationship between eastern and western literature. Goethe was the first scholar to formally put forward the concept of "world literature" in German. On January 31, 1827, in a conversation with his secretary, Aikman, Goethe first praised the legendary Chinese novel "The Legend of a Beautiful Moon", then used the word "Weltliteratur" for the first time, and wrote such a famous text in the history of literary theory: I increasingly believe that poetry is the common property of mankind.




Compared with Goethe's talented, sensitive, vague and poetic depiction of world literature, the judgment of "world literature" put forward by the founder of Marxism after 21 years is based on the scientific theories of dialectical materialism, historical materialism and political economy.




In the 18th and 19th centuries, European romanticism and critical realism also moved from Europe to the world. Goethe spoke highly of Chinese literature after seeing the legendary Chinese novel "The Legend of a Beautiful Moon", and advised German writers to attach importance to the study and research of foreign literature, jump out of the small circle around them, absorb the good things of foreign literature, and actively communicate with other national literature, so as to jointly promote the early arrival of a new era of world literature. In the process of national literature construction, any nation should not refuse to absorb the excellent literary traditions of foreign nations, but to absorb the things of foreign nations, it must always be combined with the actual literary development of its own nation, with its own cultural traditions and aesthetic habits, and transformed into the things of its own nation.




Dialectically, if we interpret and understand "cultural globalization" in a culturally complementary way, the development of national literature and even world literature will have great prospects.






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