A PERSONAL STANCE
My contribution to comparative literature is closely related to its reemerging, planetary concept. Gayatri Spivak, who announced the death of the discipline in the 90ties, understood it mainly as a death of an Eurocentric paradigm. The new comparativism that reappears after the turn of the millennium is thus radically de-centered.
Personally, I don't see the comparativism in this double perspective of rupture and reemergence. In my main, non-Eurocentric perspective of integrating East and West, I conceive myself as someone who gives continuity, and hopefully a fulfillment, to such concepts as that of "grammars of creation" once sketched by George Steiner. This personal stance is supposed to reflect not only a project of erudition, but also a double belonging and inscription into overlapping cultural threads of tradition that I'm supposed to integrate.
MY RESEARCH IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
The aspiration of comparativism has been accompanying me since an early stage, creating a primary motivation for a multilingual competence that even today, in our post-philological times, is still regarded as indispensable basis for any serious researcher in this domain. It was also at an early stage - participating in "Mestrado em Literatura Comparada" at the University of Lisbon - that I got an initiation into comparative methodologies (if they've ever existed). The vastness of this adventure appeared to me as extremely tempting. Nonetheless initially I practiced it only for my own, private pleasure. On the other hand, my concept of comparativism was never reduced to the perspective of literature. It was rather a traversal concept applying to a range of cultural phenomena.
"Literatura w planetarnym (nad)użyciu. Przygody dzieła poza kontekstem kultury" ["Literature in planetary (ab)use: adventures of texts beyond the frontiers of their cultural contexts"], Litteraria Copernicana, nr 2(12)/2013, p. 94-103. ISSN 1899-315x
"W górę wodospadu. Integracyjne wyzwania studiów porównawczych" ["Swimming upstream. Integrative stakes of the comparativism"], Tekstualia, nr 4(31)/2012, p. 85-93. ISSN 1734-6029
Republished online in English translation: "Swimming Upstream. Challenges of Integration in Comparative Studies", trans. by Justyna Burzyńska, Tekstualia (2007-2012) in English - a Special Selection of Articles (INDEX PLUS).
"A la recherche des « grammaires de la création ». L’intégration intellectuelle des traditions orientale et occidentale" [“In search of the 'grammars of creation'. Intellectual integration of eastern and western traditions”], Pensées orientale et occidentale: influences et complémentarité. Études réunies par Katarzyna Dybeł, Anna Klimkiewicz et Monika Świda, Kraków, Księgarnia Akademicka, 2012, p. 201-210. ISBN 978-83-7638-185-5
There is one, perennial question related to comparative literature: the reason and the legitimacy of any act of comparing. Specially if my temptation has always been to compare phenomena that other people saw as incomparable. Nonetheless, as I considered closely various objections that have been raised, I reached the conclusion that their nature, in most cases, either ethnocentric or ideological. I started thus to consider that any claim to treat anything as "beyond comparison" is essentially illegitimate. The universal tertium comparationis, on the other hand, is simply man and the unity of the human condition, and beyond it, the unity of bios, the living life that make us comparable to a range of other beings.
European Network for Comparative Literary Studies