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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 69664 views
Language and Literature paper by T. Szabó, Levente (all papers)
Rival Ethnicization of Hybrid Identities in the First International Journal of Comparative Literary Studies
The reception of the Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum (1877-1888), the first international journal founded in Cluj / Kolozsvár / Klausenburg (formely in Hungary, today in Romania) by Sámuel Brassai and Hugo von Meltzl / Meltzl Hugó, has always suffered from a certain "methodological nationalism”. While it has always stressed the transgressing of national boundaries and the transnational network of scholars around the new idea of the comparative method in literature, it has also recurrently emphasized the ethnic and national "belonging” of both of the founders and the collaborators. Hugo von Meltzl has been portrayed as the civilizing "German” who founded the journal after returning from its "Western” studies. The other founder, Sámuel Brassai was largely neglected as he was viewed as "the Eastern figure”, "the Hungarian” who had never been abroad, and in contact with "the West” before. Many of the extremely large network of scholars were mainly thought of as clear-cut figures of a single ethnic group. For instance, Dora d’Istria came to be viewed mostly as an "Italian”, and less as a "Romanian” or „Macedonian”. Ludwig-Adolf Simiginowicz-Staufe has been regarded as a "German”, even though his identity could not be simply described in such clear-cut ethnic terms.
Even though the first international journal foregrounds many culturally hybrid figures among the founders or permanent collaborators, the reception of the journal in the last century reshaped them into changing, and often biased clear-cut ethnic identities. My paper will reassess several ethnically biased narratives through which the founders and the hybrid, cosmopolitan international collaborators of the first international comparative literary journal were ethnicized, monopolized and appropriated.
Brief Professional Bio:
Associate professor in nineteenth-century Hungarian and comparative literature at Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania). Specialized and PhD in literary sociology and the social history of literature. Author of two successful books and several papers on models of nineteenth-century Hungarian literary modernization, respectively the construction of the national space in nineteenth-century Hungarian literature, literary professionalization and comparative literary nationalisms. Currently working on an English-language book on the history of the first international journal of comparative literature. http://hunlit.lett.ubbcluj.ro/en/professors/t-szabo-levente