Net Literature as New Form of (World) Literature?: The Case of The Founder of Diabolism

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Li Zhenling


In the 20th century, colonization, global migration, and the creation of multinational postcolonial nation – states had blurred the boundary between national literature and world literature to a large extent. In the new century when Internet has connected most of the people and their cultures in the world, a new form of literature comes to its heyday: net literature. This paper takes The Founder of Diabolism – one of the most popular Chinese net novels both at home and abroad – as a case study to examine if and how net literature has complicated the issue of national literature and world literature. As it turns out, while geographical factor has mostly been absent from its chain of transmission, its cultural particularity has always been emphasized; while multimedia and technology produce different cultural variations of it in different areas, the core of the story has been always preserved. The case indicates that while net literature shows the virtualization and diversification of literary circulation around the world, it is nevertheless almost always accompanied by the idiosyncrasies of national literature, which proves the ongoing fusion of world literature and national literature.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

World Literature and National Literature