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Anglophone World Literature

VINAY DHARWADKER

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Extract

When the term “Anglophone” was coined in the early twentieth century, it designated a person who used the English language – and hence implicitly was of English or British racial, ethnic, or national origin – in a place or society where this was not the only language in use. By the end of the century, “Anglophone literature” had come to identify an array of writing in English in different locations and under different circumstances, without limiting itself to authorship by Anglophone individuals in the original sense. Today, “Anglophone world literature” follows this basic usage to signify the entire spectrum of texts in English around the globe, past and present. As a category, however, Anglophone world literature is distinguished from two related sets of categories. On one side, it stands in contrast to Europhone world literature, which is produced in multiple locations in such languages as French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. At the same time, it separates itself more generally from literature that is composed originally in other languages (whether European or not), and is then translated into this medium. On the other side, Anglophone world literature, as characterized by its language, differentiates itself from (but also overlaps with) the category of Commonwealth literature, which is produced in the fifty-odd countries of the British Commonwealth, and hence is defined by ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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