n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - The World Map and the world of Goethe's




This paper examines the meaning of 'World' in Goethe's concept of World-Literature. It argues that Goethe builds on a far-reaching geographical imagination that was taking careful account of the latest trends in European expansionism. This is evident in the works of many of his contemporaries, with whom he associated closely, and whose ideas he held in great admiration. It is also evident in his interest in cartography. The idea of World in World-Literature finds its way indirectly in to a number of major works, where it enters into dialogue with some of the most problematic aspects of European expansionism.


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