Jernej Habjan and Marko Juvan in the Canadian Review of Comparative LiteraturePublished on: December 17, 2015
‘Novel beyond Nation’, the December 2015 issue of Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue canadienne de littérature comparée, is devoted to rethinking the classical conjuncture between the nation and the novel in light of the contemporary persistence of the novel despite the rise of post-nationalist types of social bond. The issue addresses the histories of the novel and the nation-form from the rise of the two forms to the current moment of the prevalence of the former despite the crisis of the latter. Guest-edited by Jernej Habjan, and with contributions by Nancy Armstrong with Leonard Tennenhouse, Alexander Beecroft, Suman Gupta, Caren Irr, Marko Juvan, Emilio Sauri and Hrvoje Tutek, this collective volume poses the following questions: What can the persistence of the novel beyond nationalism tell us about the novel in times of nationalism and, conversely, about the nationalism in times of the novel? Does the transition from nationalism to post-nationalist identity politics imply a transition within the history of the novel itself, or does the continuing centrality of the novel imply a continuation of nationalism within identity politics? Or is there perhaps time to return to Benedict Anderson and to rethink his groundbreaking framing of nationalism in the newspaper and the novel? Is the novel perhaps the genre not of nationalism, but, to use one of Anderson’s own concepts, of modern print-capitalism itself?