Reconstructing Literature. Reflections on Cosmopolitan Literatures

  • Wim Verbaal Ghent University


This is a general introduction to and reflection on some of the concepts and questions that will be central to JOLCEL, highlighting the fundamental role of schooling in the formation and continuation of literary universes. It is argued, amongst others, that one cannot construe a thorough history of Europe’s national literatures without taking into account their roots in Latin schooling and texts – roots that run far deeper than the (already widely studied) ‘reception of the classical’. Vice versa, we cannot fully understand the internal workings and development of the Latin tradition without taking into account neighbouring, overlapping and competing literatures.