“Comparative poetics” does not belong to the set of established terms. It was introduced by Earl Miner (1990) and might have heralded an ambitious project if not immediately undermined by the subtitle “An Intercultural Essay on Theories of Literature.” It did not take long to find that poetics did not easily agree with cultural studies as they were proposed. The word, reduced to a sign and viewed as a function, was cut off from its poetic significance. In search for a new poetics, a special interest has been recently demonstrated toward “historical poetics” only vaguely heard of before thanks to the eminent Russian scholars (the Formalists, Bakhtin, and Propp) but still less known in its original form worked out by Alexander Veselovsky. His magnum opus, unfinished by the author, may serve as a guide in our search for method to restore the study of verbal art as poetics of world literature.

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