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What is comparative Literature?

Comparative Literature involves the study of the common features that exist in different literary pieces, cinema, cultural production, etc., on a global level. These days, you can find out a society where different languages, cultures, and literature meet, which helps in broadening the scope of thought and understand the ways in which humans perceive a particular topic.

Importance of Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature can be considered as a result of a response against restricted patriotism in the 19th century due to the grant in England. Although this is an incidental convention, the abstract work started to develop during the initial years of the Christian period. One can consider the Romans to be the pioneers in this field of study. These people outdid the Greeks when it comes to improvements in a similar field of study. The Romans started working off the contrasting works of the speakers and artists who were Greek or Roman and started to find out likeness in both of their abstract work. Quintillion was one of the pioneers in this area. Apart from him, Longinus started studying this subject in a systematic manner – he was also responsible for yielding the names of Homer and Plato and so forth.

Famous Works of Comparative Literature

The terms can be used both nationally and internationally and use the inclusiveness of human connections across the globe. This term involves the integration of global and national written works along with territorial writing pieces. Apart from this, there are terms such as Universal Literature, General Literature, International Literature, and more that are counted as a part of Comparative Literature.

As we all know, Comparative Literature is a rare combination of human life and their conduct; it cannot be considered as a basic methodology of specific writing. We tend to compare two different pieces of literary work side by side. In this way, the same topic gets a dimension and different viewpoints. It tends to draw inspiration from the human life and the encounters that they have over their lifetime.

Indian Comparative Literature

In India, the forefathers of Sanskrit started doing comparative studies from the 6th century A.D. This is certain from written pieces such as Meghduta and Abhijnanasakutala written by Kalidasa. After that, the pundits such as Kuntaka started developing a subjective methodology that was used by present-day authors of comparative Literature such as R.S. Pathak. This lead to advancements in writing. 

In England, Mathew Aronold was the first endeavor who started this revolution and offered motivation to other comparators who wanted to take a shot in this kind of Literature. 

It is necessary to embrace the stalwarts who wrote important essays and developed an abstract idea in this field. 

Comparing two literature pieces

When you are comparing two different kinds of literary works, you need to see them through the perspective of themes, myths, artistic tactics and forms, along with social and religious movements. For the comparators, it becomes easy to provide their analysis on two different written pieces on the bases of the similar and dissimilar aspects of the text. However, the approach should remain unprejudiced in order to figure out the truth.

Reasons to study comparative Literature

Comparative Literature allows you to study a broad range of topics across the globe and develop your own perspective by analyzing and comparing the themes. These can be religious, social, or even political. On the whole, you develop a broad vision of the world literature and the roots of it. For those who are planning to study this type of Literature, here are the reasons why they should go ahead:

1. There is an incredible variety of written pieces you need to compare

Comparative Literature is more than comparing one book with another. You also get to know about the different literary styles that prevail in two different countries and cultures and their approach towards Literature. By analyzing the differences, we also get to learn about the similarities in the writing pieces. For instance, there was a time when the western people studying Literature got bored to read about the white men and started questioning the reason why there are so many incredible literature pieces produced in the world with only 1% translated into English. By studying Comparative Literature, you get to study about the works from countries such as Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Europe, and more.

2. You get to work in another language

If you know multiple languages, you can read and write text in the original language. With this, you can take your skills to the next level and start translating the scripts in different languages. Even if you are new to learning a language, make efforts to master it as that would help you in your career and become more eligible in Comparative Literature.

3. Comparative Lit Challenges Your Viewpoint

Comp Lit is not just about analyzing as it also helps in developing your viewpoint regarding literary challenges. It allows you to dig deeper into topics such as colonialism, capitalism, and more and decide whether you agree or disagree with the idea. It pushes you to think about why there is no specific system for world literature and is there any possibilities that would exist. The theories and approaches that you follow will allow you to develop a completely different perspective. 

4. You get to learn from academicians who are involved in research

For newbies, it is a great opportunity to learn from the people who are already researching the topics and provide an expert opinion on the topics of discussion. With regular workshops and seminars, you will delve deeper into the world of comparative Literature.

Comparative Literature is an explorative subject and is highly subjective as you need to develop a viewpoint on two different literature perspectives. With time, you start reasoning the different themes that exist across the globe and why they are actually like that and not similar. Even colleges have started introducing this subject, so if you are interested in taking it upcomparative Literature, make sure you read more on it.

Author: Frank Taylor


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