Armstrong and Montag offer a suspicious reading of the posttheoretical attempt to confine literature to the “surface” of the singular text. They suggest that there's a reason why this effort to redefine the way we read literature coincides with a number of major theoretical attempts to formulate global or world systems of literature. Drawing on Franco Moretti's recent call for us to “unlearn” our traditional literary training, they contend that novels defy any attempt to confine them to the boundaries of the individual work or a national tradition, raising basic questions about what we do as literary scholars who read novels: Does the failure of novels to observe the categories of the literary discipline mean that they are not in fact literature? Or do we have to rethink both the novel and the discipline that has had trouble housing it—especially in recent years?

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