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Nicholson, Rashna Darius (2017): From India to India: The Performative Unworlding of Literature. In: Theatre Research international, Vol. 42, No. 1: pp. 5-19

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World literature has recently been critiqued for its normative, world-making force and, not unrelatedly, for its genealogical ties to orientalism. This article shifts the focus in world literature from the world' to the literature' by suggesting that within a nexus of politics, religion and knowledge production, the stylistic requirements of literature were fundamental to the reification of numerous performative modes that were not predicated exclusively on language's semantic dimensions. Literature, as a vanishing mediator', thus enabled not only translations but also comparative valuations - philological, mythological and racial - of entire cultures in an unethical epistemological encounter. Through the examination of the circuitous route of the Svitr myth, which was translated from Sanskrit into Italian, English, French and German as dramatic literature', and finally to Gujarati as a play for theatrical production, this article uncovers performance's potential to problematize the figuring of text as world-encompassing entity.

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