World Literature And Nationalism

Tibetan Translations Of Alphonse Daudet’s Short Story “La Dernière Classe”

  • Yunfei Bai University of Hong Kong
Keywords: Tibet, world literature, translation, nationalism


Famed for its advocacy of linguistic patriotism and national survival, the nineteenthcentury short story “La dernière classe” (The Last Lesson) by the French writer Alphonse Daudet has achieved a broad readership worldwide. By tracing the afterlife of Daudet’s story in both Tibet proper and the Tibetan diaspora in India, this essay casts fresh light on the encroachment of nationalist agendas on the reception of foreign literature in Asia. It thereby argues against the one-size-fits-all “detachedness” posited by world literature theorists when conceptualizing the transmission of literary texts across national boundaries.

Author Biography

Yunfei Bai, University of Hong Kong

Yunfei Bai is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. He earned his PhD in French with an emphasis on Comparative Literature at Rutgers University in 2018. A polyglot philologist, he is broadly interested in the tangled relationship between nationalism, Orientalism, minority identities, and the dissemination of world literature under state regulation of the book market. His recent articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, Comparative Literature Studies, and China Perspectives.

How to Cite
Bai, Y. (2019). World Literature And Nationalism: Tibetan Translations Of Alphonse Daudet’s Short Story “La Dernière Classe”. Archiv orientální, 87(3), 509–535. Retrieved from
Research Article