To someone who studies the Caribbean, a striking feature of the 2007 Littérature-monde manifesto is its deep debt to the thought of one of its most prestigious signatories: Edouard Glissant. The very title of the manifesto hints at this influence, through its use of the hyphenated “littérature-monde” formulation, which echoes many of Glissant's coinages. Given the close parentage between Glissant's thought and the Littérature-monde project, it seems appropriate to ask how Glissant's writing helps to understand the project and to what extent it can help to achieve the program sketched out there. In particular, I focus attention on potential weaknesses in these two overlapping theories of world literature. For although both of the projects are undeniably well intentioned, the self-serving aspects of the Littérature-monde manifesto, and the utopian dimension of Glissant's thinking, seem to call for vigilance.

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