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Regular version of the site

Article

Do "Minor Literatures" Still Exist?

Forum for World Literature Studies. 2015. Vol. 7. No. 2. P. 211-229.

My paper addresses both Bulgarian (more widely, East-European) literature (especially in the first two parts) and developments that bear on the larger framework in which literary history operates today. I revisit the notion of "minor literatures" and show it to be an historical construct with a specific lifespan. I also examine the ambiguity of the project of "minor literatures," poised as it has lately been between an understanding of "minor" as a potential social and political energy that originates in the writing of a minority within a dominant majority ("minoritare Literatur"), and an evaluative notion that sees " minor literatures" as small ("kleine Literatur"), derivative, deprived of originality when measured by the yardstick of " mainstream literatures." The first of these two perspectives is sustained in Deleuze and Guattari's classic book Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature; the second one has a longer pedigree that goes back to the intricate history of Eurocentrism since the 18thcentury.