Writing World Literature Essay

  • March 2018

    The Return of Scheherazade, or the Rise of the Iraqi Novel after 2003

       By Sadek R. Mohammed

    Mohammed Ghani Hikmat’s Save Iraqi Culture sculpture, featuring ancient Sumerian cuneiform script, is located in Baghdad’s Mansour District. The figure with multiple hands represents the dif...

  • March 2018

    Trout Fishing in Tehran

       By Shohreh Laici

    illustration: jen rickard blair On the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America, an Iranian writer (and devoted Brautigan reader) considers how he, perhaps ev...

  • January 2018

    The Spring

       By Dunya Mikhail

    Offering tea in the Qadia/Rwanga IDP (internally displaced persons) camp, in the western Dohuk governorate of northern Iraq. As of February 2017, the population of the camp was 14,762 (including some...

  • January 2018

    Border Ghosts

       By Kapka Kassabova

    Border village in winter, Turkey. Photo: Nedret Benzet Returning to the Bulgaria of her childhood, the author chronicles the insidious damage that a culture of hard borders inflicted on its sur...

  • November 2017

    Selective Empathy: Stories and the Power of Narrative

       By Aminatta Forna

    Photo: Daniel Tellman / FlickrSocieties venerate their storytellers almost as much as the stories. We talk about the wonders that stories can create, the ways they can change t...

  • September 2017

    Verse Africa: The Malleable Poetics of Some Contemporary African Poets

       By Matthew Shenoda

    Clockwise from Top: Ama Ata Aidoo, Aracelis Girmay, Patricia Jabbeh WesleyTaking stock of the African Poetry Book Fund’s project to bring contemporary African poetry into the f...

  • September 2017

    Letter from Kosovo

       By Brian Sneeden

    Each year, writers and musicians from across the globe converge in Kosovo for the three-day Festival of Literature in Orllan, a vibrant celebration of local and international literature. Here, poe...

  • September 2017

    Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower: Survival Strategies in a Morally Ambivalent India

       By Rositta Joseph Valiyamattam

    Isolation: Companion of Conscience, by Georgitta J. Valiyamattam Iconoclast Indian novelist Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower, set in the maximum city of Mumbai, is not only the...

  • May 2017

    Ebi Yeibo’s Poetic Unfolding of Nigeria’s Postcolonial History

       By Ogaga Okuyade

    Remnants of an oil spill in the Niger Delta. Photo: Michael Uwemedimo / cmapping.net Niger Delta poet Ebi Yeibo’s verse lyrically engages the Nigerian nation on looming postindependence issues wh...

  • May 2017

    Ghazal Cosmopolitan

       By Shadab Zeest Hashmi

    Portrait of “the master of the ghazal” Ghalib, by Urdu Shayar. Dinodia Photos / Alamy Stock Photo Poetry is of course a universal art, but is it possible for a particular poetic form to be not only u...

  • March 2017

    “Tough as Ox Tendons”: Korean Literature and Returning Catastrophe

       By Eun-Gwi Chung

    www.flickr.com/people/limone51 After you died, I couldn’t hold a funeral, so my life        became a funeral.After you were wrapped in a tarpaulin and carted        awa...

  • March 2017

    When Bodies Speak

       By Githa Hariharan

    A group of women stripped naked in broad daylight to protest against the brutality of the Assam Rifles army contingent (July 2004). Braiding together an epic story and India’s ongoing su...

  • January 2017

    Strangers in the Country of the Poet

       By Julia Fiedorczuk

    “One Foot Wrong” by Parée Erica. Parée Erica/Flickr Against the background of the Polish parliament’s consideration of a law that would effectively ban abortion and the ensuing protests,...

  • November 2016

    Of Gatekeepers and Bedtime Stories: The Ongoing Struggle to Make Women’s Voices Heard

       By Alison Anderson

    Photo: Flickr.com/people/nex230 Do we need a special issue devoted solely to women writers? Indeed we do. Author and translator Alison Anderson explains why. Do we still need magazi...

  • November 2016

    On the Way Down: Fluttering Wings and Three-Dimensional Afterthoughts

       By Oddný Eir

    Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir, Snow Symbol I, 2015, 100 x 100 cm, oil on linen. Photo by Pétur Thomsen. In these philosophical meditations for a Reykjavík art exhibit, Icelandic author Oddný Eir looks i...

  • September 2016

    The Scold’s Bridle

       By Dubravka Ugrešić

    Made of iron, this scold’s bridle from Belgium dates from the 16th or 17th century. The strut of metal that went into the wearer’s mouth to hold down her tongue has broken off. If there’...

  • May 2016

    The Local as the Global: Reflections on Teaching World Literature

       By Emad Mirmotahari

    Photo by Kevin Lau The following essay argues for the importance of shifting world literature courses away from “survey” and toward the interrogation of categories of knowledge that typi...

  • May 2016

    The Neustadt Prize and the Framing Effect

       By William Marling

    Tesla owns the expertise on electric cars, Picasso on cubism, and the Neustadt Prize on casting a large net to evaluate international literature in unbiased fashion. And in so doing, the...

  • May 2016

    Delhi: 21st Century City

       By Vikram Kapur

    An artist adds color to a building in a Delhi alleyway. Photo by Vikram Singh. The twenty-first century has seen Delhi go from being just another nondescript capital city to a throbbing...

  • May 2016

    The Persistence of Books

       By Rebecca L. Walkowitz

    Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer Recent fiction by Junot Díaz, Paul Kingsnorth, and Ali Smith offers an emergent project for contemporary world literature by yoking the his...

  • March 2016

    We Were Born in the Houses of Storytellers

       By Ghassan Zaqtan

    Ghassan Zaqtan (left) and Mahmoud Darwish in a 2007 photo taken by Palestinian poet Bashir Shalash. After presenting a sweeping landscape of Arabic poetry since pre-Islamic days...

  • January 2016

    Fiction: A Transgressive Art

       By K. Anis Ahmed

    A Bangladeshi writer traces his quest to dodge the external and internal censors and considers what fiction at its best can do: “sail past all censors to uncover the tender and transgres...

  • January 2016

    Why Live? A Question for 21st Century Theatre

       By Jordan Tannahill

    Members of the Sheffield, UK–based performance company Forced Entertainment on stage in And on the Thousandth Night at the Hebbel am Ufer performance center in Berlin. Photo: Hugo Glendi...

  • January 2016

    Arab Literature: Politics and Nothing But?

       By Mai Al-Nakib

    Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj created Unearthed (in Memoriam) (2014) out of repurposed book covers. He calls the work “a quiet gesture, an archive to remember those who have been forg...

  • January 2015

    Ping -Pong; or, Writing Together

       By Zsolt Láng

    Photo by Raul LieberwirthThe great games will be remembered for a lifetime, just as we cannot give up on our failures, either. The muscles record the beautiful strokes; the pos...

    1. What are you supposed to write about in a world lit essay? I'm doing my essay on antigone but i'm not sure what i'm supposed to write..is it meant to be an argument or..? please help, our teacher hasn't explained anything to us..

    2. Hi, found an example for you:

      Generally you tend to choose a theme within the book that you can base a question on.
      I believe mine was "How have the authors represented the struggle between freedom and imprisonment in ‘The Outsider’ and ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ ?"
      You could however create a statement and say to what extent that statement is true.
      It's not so much an argument as an analysis of an extract(s) of the book(s) with respect to your question. By this I mean you must pick one or more extracts and pick apart phrases within them, discussing the significance of the words the author has used and to what effect. Mention lots of literary features e.g. pathetic fallacy, irony, foreshadowing, personification etc. where relevant and correct. These are like buzzwords for whoever will be marking your paper, it shows you understand what literary features are, an important aspect of the course.
      E.g. 'the author uses the weather to convey a sense of confinement because the sun is used to highlight the barbed wire and prison bars...' (that's just a quick example, you need to quote and be specific, don't ever be vague).
      If you are struggling to come up with a question write down all of the central issues and themes within your book and see if that gives you some inspiration, for example, a common theme between the two books I studied was imprisonment and that's how I came up with my question.
      I hope this helps and isn't too confusing

    3. Please help me also. I need to write my World Lit on either " A Christmas Carol" or "Tamas".

      I am not sure of what to write or how to go about the essay.

      Please help me.!

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