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Central American Literature as World Literature


What does the idea of world literature mean for Central American literature? How does Central America challenge, expand, or contract the notion of world literature? What is the meaning of world and literary world-making in the context of Central American literatures? How does the concept of world literature relate to debates about cosmopolitanism, universalism, and nationalism in the region? ? How do we account for Central America’s simultaneous center-periphery position (e.g. a nodal point of world commerce via the Panama Canal vs. the image of a forgotten “outpost in the tropics” Arias, Taking Their Word, 2007; small publishing houses in the region versus a few writers that tower above the rest due to their international distribution)? How do indigenous cosmologies and concepts of writing transcend the meaning of ‘world literature’ in terms of time, scale, and cosmos? These are some of the questions this edited volume seeks to explore. Central American literature (the literature of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, and its diasporas) has many dimensions that make it world literature.

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