Revisiting Franco Moretti’s Concept and Practice of Literary Geography


  • Shuping Chen Huaqiao University


Franco Moretti, literary geography, literary map


Franco Moretti, an influential Italian literary critic, has made significant contributions to the field of literary geography, a cross-disciplinary theory that utilizes geographical methods to analyze and understand literary and cultural materials. Moretti’s approach to literary geography diverges from traditional and orthodox methods, offering a fresh perspective. This paper applies a qualitative method with a close-reading approach to evaluate and explore Moretti’s conceptualization and implementation of literary geography through a systematic three-step research process. The first step involves identifying the intellectual and theoretical sources of inspiration that have influenced Moretti’s work. The second step focuses on illuminating Moretti’s innovative understanding and interpretation of literary geography as well as his integration of literary map into the analysis of literature. Lastly, the paper investigates two case studies to further exemplify Moretti’s practices in the field of literary geography. The first case study regards Jane Austen’s fictions, where Moretti’s approach unveils Austen’s geographical imagination of Britain in her novels. The second one centers on Mary Mitford’s Our Village, where Moretti discovers the circular narrative pattern. By undertaking these three comprehensive steps, this paper offers valuable insights into the conceptual and methodological dimensions of literary geography. Additionally, it endeavors to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of literary geography, thereby inspiring scholars and researchers to delve further into the intersections between geography, literature and culture.



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