Publication details [#12400]

Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


The article develops the idea of cartographies from a conceptual point of view. It calls into question the institutionalization of literary research and teaching in terms of 'national literatures'. The near-monopoly of the romantic 'national' paradigm - one territory, one nation, one language, one literature - leads to anachronistic views on the literary world. The fact that literary scholars study literature preferably with the aid of political and/or linguistic maps means that they doe not have models of their own. The author believes the study of literature cannot be restricted to national literatures because developments in language, nation and literature are not well synchronized. The national model is poorly suited for the study of intra-national literary phenomena and relationships in multilingual contexts (like Belgium, Switzerland, etc.), and it is no more helpful for the study of complex and multiple inter-national (economic and political) relations between literatures. As an alternative, collective historical-descriptive fieldwork is needed to investigate that exact nature of the relations between linguistic, political and literary borderlines and to help us envisage new, multiple maps for past and present literary worlds.
Source : A. Matthyssen