The foundational division within world literature studies between forms of close reading and distant reading, or literary theory and literary sociology, is aptly illustrated in these two interesting and provocative critical studies of postwar world literature. Despite their drastically different methods, both critics provide new critical approaches to contemporary world literature with an aim to counter claims of a globalizing monolingual model of world literature by, in Moraru’s case, embedded, formalized histories and individual, archival histories in Marling’s work.

Divided into three parts, Reading for the Planet opens with a prologue in the form of a manifesto about the necessity for a critical intervention. This prologue is followed by two sections: the first, “World, Globe, Planet,” provides a thorough and carefully argued critique of existing theories of globalization and world literature; the second, “Geomethodology: Theory and Practice,” offers close readings of an...

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