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《Comparative Literature in China》 2006-01
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To Retreat from Controversy:A Possible Way out for Comparative Literature

Wang Zhigeng  
The crisis of comparative literature seems increasingly severe today, with cultural studies prevailing more than ever in all fields of literature studies. So it is high time to find a way out. The real reason for the crisis is, in the contemporary context, the confusion of the disciplinary boundaries, to which the solution is to delimit field of cultural studies and that of comparative literature. Comparative literature, under careful scrutiny, is conspicuously different from cultural studies in terms of ontology and epistemology. While cultural studies deal with the subordinate relationship of the elements of the cultural system and artistic texts, comparative literature tackles the relationship between artistic texts in the same cultural system. Cultural studies aim to reveal the metaphorical relationship between the non-literary factors and literature, contrariwise, comparative literature is devoted to decoding the metonymical relationship between the literal elements. The former is a kind of vertical study, while the lat ter horizontal. Based on the above analyses, the author of this paper holds the view that comparative literature should give up the inter-disciplinary orientated attempts, and maintain, instead, its identity by way of withdrawing.
【CateGory Index】: I0-03
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