Professor Andrew Ginger has published an essay for the special issue that launches comparative literature for Modern Languages Open.
The essay, on ‘Comparative Study and the Nature of Connections: Of the Aesthetic Appreciation of History’ is the opening essay of the issue. It can be read in the open-access journal at:
In her introduction to the special issue, Emma Bond comments that each of the essays in it ‘can be read as a manifesto of sorts’. The essays are ‘designed to be accessible to undergraduate and postgraduate students of comparative literature at the same time as hopefully stimulating new academic scholarship that will engage with and build on this set of daring new perspectives and ideas’.
Andrew Ginger’s essay argues for the importance of an aesthetic mode of comparative study. He dwells on what it is to experience two things as alike, and stresses the importance of intimacy, mood, and sensation in the patterns of resemblance we find across history. The essay considers what it might be like to emphasize those things, above and beyond causes and influences, as a way of undertaking comparative study.