Chao Wang
Pages 7-22


In “Comparative Literature, Variation Theory, and a New Construction of World Literature(s)” Wang Chao discusses Shunqing Cao’s “variation theory” as a framework in the discipline of comparative literature and its applicability for a new construction of world literature(s). Wang argues that Goethe’s concept of world literature can be expanded and developed for a new construction of the idea of world literature(s). Wang’s principal argument is that comparative literature in today’s heterogeneity and cross-cultural variabilities can be revived with the notions of variation and its connecting aspect of world literature. Both variation theory and perspectives of the concept of “new world literature” are based in recent insights in comparative literature, on variations of literary exchange, on interpretation in cross-civilization literary circulation, translation, and production. Wang proposes that these views broaden and adjust the boundary of comparability, thus injecting much-needed vitality into comparative literature and world literature research.