Sunday, December 21, 2008

The New Anglo World Order

You may remember that back in October Horace Engdahl of the Nobel prize committee controversially declared :
... you can't get away from the fact that Europe is still the centre of the literary world ... not the United States. The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature ... That ignorance is restraining.
In the New Statesman [via] philosopher and writer Jonathan Derbyshire responds with an article discussing The Rise of the New Anglo-World Order, which you can also hear broadcast. He finds that :
The real cause of Engdahl's angst ... is that what he called the "big dialogue of literature" is today actually being conducted mostly in English - by inhabitants of Britain's former colonies, for instance, especially those in south Asia and the Caribbean; and also by non-anglophone writers who have followed Conrad and Nabokov in choosing to write in English.

1 comment:

Burhan said...

two reactions about the article:

- US doesn't need to be a literary leader because it already capitalizes two industries that bring in the dough: cinema and pop music.

- french might not count anymore as a global language (i write this as an unrepentant francophile). the data varies but most show more hindi, russian and portuguese speakers than french. some even show bahasa melayu-indonesia as a bigger language.