Mihály Szegedy-Maszák
Indiana University
Department of Central Eurasian Studies
and Loránd Eötvös University

NATIONAL OR COMPARATIVE LITERARY HISTORY

Hungary has had two distinct traditions in literary historiography. On the one hand, some of the most distinguished Hungarian scholars viewed literature as the evolution of national character; on the other, the discipline called comparative Literature developed very early in Hungarian scholarship. (Sámuel Brassai and Hugo Meltzl were the first scholars to start a Comparative Literature journal in 1877.) How can these two traditions be continued in our age? What are the choices a Hungarian literary historian has to face in the twenty-first century? How can a literature written in the language of a small imaginary community be preserved in the world of globalization?