Elaborating Barbara Cassin’s category of the Untranslatable, Emily Apter’s Against World Literature demonstrates the Untranslatable’s performative capability to question and displace the voracity of the World Literature industry. Neither a primer nor a how-to, Apter’s new book ranges across a wide assortment of texts to disclose the Untranslatable as a political and textual event indigestible by and unprofitable to the prevailing practices of World Literature. The unpredictable tracks of Untranslatables necessitate a rethought Comparative Literature newly attentive to the textuality of its languages and open to a rapidly transforming world. Apter gives a vivid sense of the scale of the task ahead if anything resembling change in practices of pedagogy and research programs is to emerge from her foray into the nebula of the Untranslatable.
Ben Conisbee Baer; It’s Only the End of the World. boundary 2 1 May 2014; 41 (2): 213–225. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2686151
Download citation file: