Foreign literatures in national media. Comparing the International Focus of Literary Coverage in Europe and the United States, 1955–2005

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Abstract

This article examines key developments and cross-national variations in the coverage of foreign literatures in U.S., Dutch, French, and German elite newspapers between 1955 and 2005. Such coverage is indicative of the interest in foreign literatures among literary mediators and readers and the degree and direction of “globalization from within.” Using content analysis, the degree, direction, and diversity of the international orientation of literary journalism are charted for each country. The results indicate that the degree of international orientation is inversely related to the centrality of a country's literary production. Results show a clear internationalization of literary coverage in the French newspapers, which coincides with the declining dominance of French literature in the late twentieth century literary world-system. German and Dutch papers' literary coverage already showed a high level of internationalization in 1955 and remained fairly constant, with foreign literature taking up around half of the total coverage devoted to literature. The NY Times, by contrast, devoted roughly one quarter of its coverage to foreign literature throughout the research period. Although the global diversity of coverage in all four countries has increased, international coverage is largely confined to a select group of “core” countries and to countries belonging to the same language area or region, and domestic literature remains important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-374
Number of pages23
JournalArcadia: International Journal for Literary Studies
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Research programs

  • ESHCC A&CS
  • ESHCC M&C

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