This invited foreword to a cluster of four essays on historical poetics seeks to establish how the relevance of Historical Poetics is reclaimed today. Affinities, differences, and questions of commensurability and historical contextualization are raised as part of the discussion. The foreword also attempts to resituate Historical Poetics within current debates on “world literature.” In this light it reconsiders the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, suggesting that he performed a flight away from the largely Eurocentric tenor of the Russian Formalists.

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