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“What Is Literature? The Rise of a Global Literary Discourse” (Mandarin Chinese title: 文学是什么?一种全球性文学话语的兴起)

“What Is Literature? The Rise of a Global Literary Discourse” (Mandarin Chinese title: 文学是什么?一种全球性文学话语的兴起), Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures (2021): 42-49.

This essay argues that literature as a conceptual category is not timeless or universal. In the case of Iran and Afghanistan, the formation of literature, or adabiyat, was the outcome of early twentieth-century associational culture that introduced new ways of naming, understanding, and appreciating textual production. These new ideas became conventionalized in the framework of literary journals that flourished in the second quarter of the twentieth century. Briefly put, this essay provides an illustrative account for the historical process by which Persian literature, as a modern concept, became institutionalized.

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