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The Concept of Literary Heritage: A Definition through Bibliographic Review.


The concept of literary heritage is a part of those notions of which one presumes an almost intuitive understanding. However, it is difficult to build an accurate definition of this term. On the one hand, this is due to the complexity of the notions conforming it--the "heritage" and "literary" pairing--and, on the other hand, the polysemy it entails, which results in the need to reflect on this issue to be able to understand the scope and the multiple meanings this notion holds.

As mentioned before, the notion of literary heritage embeds the concepts "literary" and "heritage." The latter is defined etymologically as property acquired from our parents; that is, something transmitted by our predecessors (Ballart and Tresserras). Even though heritage has this first meaning at individual level; by attaching a social and anthropological sense to the concept of heritage -broadening the perspective from the individual to the community--we reach the notion of cultural heritage.

What is understood by cultural heritage? According to Prats it can be understood as a social construct revolving around the following concepts: historicity, nature and genius. As a community we consider heritage those objects, buildings, landscapes, traditions or values which, before our eyes, are highlighted by features of a historical nature, related to their geomorphologic attributes or other natural distinctive characteristics or referred to their authorship turning those items into remarkable and unique elements.

Even if such elements have been referred to as traditions or values, the concept of cultural heritage has been historically related to materiality. Thus, during the second half of the twentieth century, UNESCO's Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage limited the notion of cultural heritage to monuments, architectural works, sculptures, paintings, archaeological elements, inscriptions, cave dwellings and group of buildings, among others. However, the material consideration of cultural heritage fails to include a significant number of cultural expressions, without which, a considerable part of its wealth would be missing in our culture. Being aware of this fact, in the first years of the twenty-first century, UNESCO issued two documents that broaden the horizons of the cultural heritage concept, fully legitimising its immaterial nature. Thereby, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, defines cultural heritage as the "practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills--as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith -that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage;" a statement that must be complemented with the spirit of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which emphasised the need to protect and promote the diverse cultural expressions considering their value as a driver of intercultural development.

This progressive construction of the limits of the concept may lead us to believe in the existence of a material heritage independent from its immaterial counterpart, understanding them as two isolated compartments. Nevertheless, both material and immaterial attributes can be found in each heritage element- the symbolic nature of Picasso's Guernica goes beyond its material attributes. Likewise, the traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos presents some material features that confer this event a distinctive identity.

It is in this sense that we defend the need to foster a holistic view of heritage that can approach heritage elements from the understanding of its dual dimensions: both material and immaterial; a view deemed essential to consider all the factors to take into account when defining policies to protect heritage (Casanovas and ArcosPumarola).

This approach to the notion of heritage--being aware of its material and immaterial ontology--becomes essential for the analysis of the literary heritage specific notion, since by adding the adjective "literary" we are limiting our field (scope) to the heritage that relates to literature and, therefore, we focus on a particular cultural expression which has its core of meaning in the cultural imaginary; that is to say, we are dealing with a type of heritage which finds its core in its immaterial dimension.

However, if we only regard a culture's literary heritage as the collection of stories, novels, poems, works. created within this culture itself and which follow a specific socio-cultural criterion-that is, prioritising only the immaterial dimension of literature, its content--we will be leaving aside all those material elements which, as a symbol, are loaded with meaning and evocative potential in the field of literature. This is the reason why the theory of literary heritage intangibility, which compares it with a literary canon, proves to be insufficient.

In this sense, we should ask ourselves: which are those elements? How do we understand the literary heritage defined as the set of tangible and intangible elements related to the literary universe (Munmany, Aproximacio)? The conception we have agreed to name 'theory of the double sphere of literary heritage' transcends the literary work intangibility, including, on the one hand, the world related to the author, who becomes the key actor in this conception of literary heritage (Torrents); and on the other hand, the material extension of everything described in the work, that is, the literary territory. In this way, we find the real spaces described in the literary work and the author's personal and biographical universe--which comprises their intimate space and all the material elements in it, as it is shown by the increasing popularity of house-museums to highlight the value of an author's literary legacy. According to this, two spheres exist--author and work--, which connected to the territory and / or place eventually, give birth to the literary heritage, as can be seen in Figure 1.

An example of the bilateral or bi-dimensional nature of literary heritage is discussec by Uccella taking the figure of Goethe as a focal point. As the author says, on his travel to Italy, Goethe stops at Torbole, a village located near Lake Garda. Goethe's experience admiring the landscape is transformed when reading poet Virgil's verses written centuries earlier in front of this same landscape. Somehow, Goethe enters Virgil's literary landscape in reading his work and the emotions stirred up by the scenery are intensified, as the Roman poet's mood is shared by Goethe.

After this episode, which Goethe describes in his travel book Italienische Reise, large numbers of culture lovers and curious Germans eager to follow Goethe's trail, visit the Italian village and research is done to find the guesthouse where the German author was accommodated. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Wiener Goethe Verein unveils a commemorative plaque there, to remember Goethe's stay.

Thus, we can see how the village of Torbole becomes heritage through Goethe; on the one hand as literary heritage belonging to Virgil's work and on the other, as a biographical space related to the German author.

In this way, Uccella, shows us the ability of literature to build a literary universe through the author's figure and their work, which shapes a cultural landscape (Donaire).

Sometimes, however, the concept of literary heritage transcends this idea and goes even further than the territory defined by the author and their work. Within the theories that offer a wider view of literary heritage, the poly-system theory proposed by Munmany (Gestio) must be highlighted. The author describes that the creation of heritage goes beyond the author's sphere and their work and it is the result of a (poly) system in which various agents intervene and, starting from the literary work, they can take part in the creation of distinct products generated by the literary heritage shared construct.

This diversity and coexistence of theories hinders the access from the academic world when posing research work on the literary heritage universe and makes it difficult to draw lines of research shared by the academic community, and this is mainly due to the fact we find ourselves faced with a highly diverse, prolific field in which a wide variety of cultural products are created.

In this sense and within the Western Europe framework, it is worth highlighting the presence of networks of literary heritage related facilities, which enable the creation of cultural products that enhance the literary heritage linked to those heritage centres. Some of these networks are the Federation Nationale des Maisons d'ecrivain & des Patrimoines Litteraires in France, Espais Escrits in Catalonia, LitHouses in the United Kingdom or the Case della Memoria in Italy, among others.

Besides the literary facilities, literary heritage is also boosted by means of specific events such as literary years or celebrations, either related to the commemoration of an author's birth or death anniversary--see the case of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016 and the multitude of events generated around this date--or related to a fiction character, as shown by Bloomsday annual and international success, which currently exceeds Dublin's local boundaries. At local level, it also worth mentioning the initiative of book towns which extends to towns like Hay-On-Wye, in Wales, pioneering this movement; Montolieu in France or Bellprat in Catalonia among others; and whose aim is to boost local economy through literature related activities.

At international level, it should be noted UNESCO's initiative linked to the concept of Creative Cities--an approach that, since its very beginnings, highlighted the importance of the culture industry for the economy and progress of contemporary cities (Landry)-. Originating from this initiative, the network of UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature was launched at the end of 2017 and is currently made up of 28 cities worldwide. These cities have identified literature as a key factor to be fostered to improve their socio-economic development. In this context, the literary heritage and its enhancement play a major role at different levels--whether in tourism, education or in helping create and boost a city's storytelling and identity--.

Facing this broad field of study, we consider it is essential to carry out a review of the meaning the concept of literary heritage acquires in the academic sphere, to identify how this notion is used and what disciplines address this issue. We also consider interesting to define the existing research lines for the study of this concept.

Thus, this bibliographic review article aims at establishing a state of the art for the scientific literature published on literary heritage until December 2017. The main objective focuses on the following issues:

* Identify the number and evolution of the studies on literary heritage.

* Establish the main countries where studies on literary heritage have been carried out.

* Define the most relevant scientific journals that focus on literary heritage.

* Identify the main researchers who have worked on the concept of literary heritage.

* Define the research theme lines of literary heritage under which the research projects identified in this paper can be grouped.


The exploratory work of bibliographic review presented in this paper has been carried out based on the Scopus and Web of Science (WoS) reference databases. However, the first one will take a key role in this research for the reasons explained in this section.

Scientific database Scopus, created in 2004, and WoS, whose origins date back to mid- twentieth century, have become the largest reference platforms in the academic world for almost all spheres of knowledge. On the one hand, Scopus gathers almost 70 million references, among which we can find over 150,000 books, nearly 22,000 peer-reviewed scientific journals or around 8 million conference papers belonging to over 100,000 conferences worldwide, among others (as of November 13, 2017, SCOPUS listed in its website). On the other hand, WoS in all their different specific data base included in their Core Collection compiles a total of over 1,300 million references which date from the year 1900 up to the present, as well as over 18,000 peer-reviewed scientific journals (as of November 15, 2017, Clarivate Analytics listed in its website).

In relation to our area of knowledge -which can be searched, in broad terms, in the area of humanities in generic databases- Scopus presents a collection of almost 3,500 journals (as of November 13, 2017, SCOPUS listed in its website), whereas Arts & Humanities Citation Index -WoS Humanities specific database- gathers a total of 1,700 journals (as of November 13, 2017, Clarivate Analytics listed in its website). Thus, both Scopus and WoS can be regarded as internationally validated platforms and susceptible- according to their characteristics- of being considered object of study to develop the state of the art of a specific discipline.

In order to define our analysis methodology, we have to consider that both Scopus and WoS, despite including publications in other languages, always provide a minimum amount of information in English on each item as identification data. In this way, scientific studies included in this database always provide the title, abstract and key words in English. In the case of Scopus, we have decided to search in the database field 'Article Title, Abstract, Key-Words', through the concept 'literary heritage'. Likewise, we have searched in WoS database field 'Topic', which searches in the title, abstract and keywords of the papers; so, it is equivalent to Scopus database field 'Article Title, Abstract, Key-Words'.

We think that the concept of literary heritage itself is wide enough to define a search which results in a sufficiently substantial number of academic works that offer a general view of the state of the art of research on heritage education. It must be noted that the search is narrowed by using quotation marks to avoid results containing only one of the two terms that make up the concept of literary heritage.

Therefore, our research is divided into two phases to respond to the objectives described above: 1) quantitative study on diverse variables and 2) qualitative research based on the critical reading of the abstracts of the selected studies will be added to this initial phase. This second phase makes it possible to define the theme lines from which the notion of literary heritage is approached as well as the main study methodologies used in these works. To carry out this qualitative study the number of received citations in the different documents will be considered the main criterion within this field of study (Borrego and Urbano).

Data obtained from WoS and Scopus will be considered for the first phase of the research, the quantitative study; however, the second phase of the research will be limited to the Scopus database for the following reasons:

* To avoid overlapping of papers that may distort the final results.

* Scopus contains more articles (229) on literary heritage than WoS core collection (210).

* Scopus features more updated articles on literary heritage than WoS; as shown in Figure 2, where the diverse publications in WoS and Scopus are distributed along a time axis of 67 years.

* According to the search performed in both databases, articles collected from Scopus (1.63) have a higher average citation rate than those from WoS (0.71).

Taking into account the main objective set for the second phase of the present research (delimit and define the current research lines on literary heritage) it was deemed more consistent to limit the study to a database containing more extensive information on the current research.

Finally, in terms of methodology, it must be noted that Scopus and WoS bibliographic databases are updated daily. The data presented here is limited to December 31st, 2017.

Results of the Bibliographic Review

Presented in the different sections below are the items that have been analysed in accordance with the specific objectives set for this research.

Number and evolution of scientific publications on literary heritage

Firstly, and after removing coinciding elements in our search, we have identified 210 titles dealing with the notion of literary heritage in WoS core collection, whereas in Scopus, this rises to 229 titles, dating the first publication from 1950.

Figure 3 shows how in the case of Scopus, scientific literature production on literary heritage remains anecdotal until practically 2005, as only 18 titles can be found from 1950 to 2000, with an average rate of 0.36 documents per year (nearly 8% of the total). This means that over 90% of the research literature production concentrates in the years 2000 to 2017 and it is around 2000 when an ongoing production development occurs. Thus, even though Scopus has been collecting works on literary heritage every single year since 1998, it is not until 2005 when the scientific production in our field of research experiences an increase. In 2005 the number of 5 documents per year is surpassed, with a total of 6 titles. The rise is particularly remarkable in 2009, with 19 works and in 2010 when the scientific production reaches a total of 24 works. These two years can be considered a turning point, for research production has kept permanently over ten works per year since 2009.

A similar development can be observed in the case of WoS, where the barrier of 10 publications per year is broken in 2009. However, this database experiences an increase of publications on this subject at the beginning of the 1980s and in the mid1990s. Therefore, this database can offer a longer-term view of the theme-related publications. However, and coinciding with Scopus, the proliferation of works on literary heritage does not start until the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Thus, to follow the change of trends happening from those years onwards, it is considered convenient to divide the research literature production generated in the period 1950-2017 in three sub-periods: 1950-2000, 2001-2010 and 2011-2017. So, if the case of Scopus is analysed in this way, the average rate of works generated per year is 0.3, with 18 documents which represent approximately 8% of the total in the first period (1950-2000); in the second period this average rate rises to 8.6, making a total of 86 documents, which represent 37% of the total; reaching an average of 17.8 publications per year in the last sub-period; that is, 125 documents or 55% of the total production. Figure 4 offers a visual image of how publications are distributed in each sub-period; confirming an upward trend in literary heritage scientific literature in the case of Scopus.

It is worth noticing that the figure for the last sub-period (2011-2017) almost reaches 75% of the total if the years 2009 and 2010 are included in this time span. In this way we can see how the quantitative analysis of scientific production shows a clear growing interest of the academia towards literary heritage over the past decade.

In the case of WoS, the data obtained lead us to a similar reading. However, it should be noted that the increase in WoS is not so remarkable as it is in Scopus, since there is a larger compilation of works over the different years in the twentieth century. If publications are sub-divided in the same sub-periods used in the former database analysis, the average rate of works per year from 1950 to 2000 is 1.58, collecting a total of 81 documents, which make approximately 39% of the total; this rate increases to 5.5 in the sub-period from 2001 to 2010, with 55 works, which account for 26% of the total works compiled in WoS; whereas this rate doubles in the sub-period 2011-2017 with an average of 10.5 works per year which result in 74 published documents; that is, 35% of the total. Figure 5 shows the percentage distribution of the works published in WoS.

Main countries with a higher volume of publications on literary heritage

In this section the countries with a higher presence based on the number of scientific publication collected in both databases will be identified. It should be mentioned that for data interpretation, only those countries with a minimum of 5 publications between the years 1950 and 2017 will be subject to analysis and that only those documents with accurate information of their country of publication will be considered.

Figure 6 shows that, in Scopus, the countries with a more fruitful production in relation to literary heritage are the United Kingdom (40) and the United States (36). These two English- speaking countries, along with Canada (8) and Australia (6) account for 90 publications, which means almost 40% of the total production; being the Anglo-Saxon academic world the undisputed leader concerning literary heritage research. At a significant distance of this first block of countries, we can find Russia (10), the Netherlands (8), France (7), Germany, China and Kazakhstan (6) followed by Croatia and Italy (5).

In the case of WoS, as shown in Figure 7, we find comparable results regarding the United Kingdom (21) and the United States (21) ranking in the first two positions in terms of production. In this case, however, the United States take the first place. These two Anglo-Saxon countries are followed by Russia (14), Canada (7) and the Netherlands (6) in the same order they kept in Scopus. The list of countries with the most publications is closed by France and Germany (5).

We considered interesting to analyse which were the leading countries in literary heritage production during the period 1950 to 2008; that is to say, before the turning point that was identified in the previous section, and from which academic production on literary heritage increases significantly.

In this sense, the results we can observe in Figure 8 show that the countries where the larger number of academic work on literary heritage is currently developed are also pioneers in studying this theme.

Main scientific journals where scientific articles on literary heritage are published

The research dealt with in this section, also quantitative, aims at identifying the main journals that address the subject of literary heritage. It should be noted, however, that the results presented here have a relative validity given the size of the sample. In the case of Scopus, only 119 works (51.9%) out of the 229 documents analysed correspond to scientific journal articles; whereas in WoS, 127 (60%) out of 210 documents are scientific articles.

In the case of Scopus, Figure 9 shows that the first publication worth highlighting is Life Science Journal (ISSN: 1097-8135 printed version), a journal dedicated to the field of life sciences, being the journal with the highest volume of works on literary heritage (6). Given the sphere of knowledge of this journal, the fact that it has the largest number of articles on literary heritage proves to be counter-intuitive. However, when checking the journal publication policy, we can see it states that articles discussing topics other than life sciences are accepted; including those works on other disciplines the editorial team consider for publication.

Then, we find the journals Islamic Africa (ISSN: 2333-262X printed version) and Revista Transilvania (ISSN: 0255-0539 printed version), with three articles each. Both journals dedicate to the area of humanities and specialise in literature. Continuing with the analysis, we see there are up to twelve journals with two publications on literary heritage, whereas the remaining works are spread individually over a large number of journals.

We can see there are not any journals that clearly focus on the literary heritage work field; to the extent that, paradoxically, it is a 'generic' journal the one that leads the volume of publications in this field of research.

In the context of WoS, the situation is quite similar, as we cannot find a journal that centralises the academic production around the literary heritage topic. Instead, we observe that research production is distributed among a large number of publications. Thus, Hispania (ISSN: 2153-6414 printed version), with four publications, ranks as the journal with the highest amount of publications on literary heritage; followed by a list of eight journals featuring three articles each, as it is shown in Figure 10.

Main authors and universities that have written scholarly work on literary heritage

This section presents a quantitative analysis of the main authors that have explored the concept of literary heritage. As stated in the previous section, graphs 10 and 11 show that there are not any authors that stand out for delivering a much higher production than the rest. Only seven authors with two publications each can be highlighted in the case of Scopus (Figure 11) whereas in WoS (Figure 12) five authors with the same number of published works are found. The rest of the authors have only published one work on the concept of literary heritage.

If we focus on the universities where authors develop their research rather than on the authors themselves, in the case of Scopus, Figure 13 shows that the University of London leads the academic production on the topic being considered here, with a total of six publications by their researchers, which confirms the Anglo-Saxon world leadership in this area of study.

If the universities with three articles published by their researchers are added to this list, the number of universities increases by three; out of which two universities are Dutch (University of Groningen y Radboud University Nijmegen) and the other one is Russian, Kazan Federal University. The remaining universities and research centres only collect a maximum of two publications on literary heritage.

Relating to WoS, and according to Figure 14, only four universities stand out with a total of three articles each. These university centres are the University of London, University of Cambridge, the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and McGill University.

This means that, as it happened with Scopus, the University of London is the leading centre regarding research on literary heritage- especially if the contributions of the School of Oriental and African Studies are added- On the other hand, it is confirmed that the Anglo-Saxon world, and, in particular the United Kingdom, proves once again to be the main research centre on literary heritage- however it must be considered that even though McGill University is located in Quebec, English is their working language.

Research Themes and Lines

This section presents the research lines identified through the critical reading of the selected abstracts. In order to divide the lines of research we have firstly focused on classifying the abstracts according to the understanding of literary heritage each one offered. Therefore, the first division is made at a conceptual level.

Then, the research approaches for each of these interpretations have been defined with the aim to identify the major lines of research revolving around each meaning attributed to the notion of literary heritage.

Materiality of literary heritage

Understanding literally the concept of literary heritage, as property to be inherited, the book, regarded as the original material substratum of the literary expression, appears as the first source of literary heritage. Therefore, by turning the literary manuscript into a heritage item, this becomes our centre of interest, hence focusing the literary heritage research on the tangible element the manuscript embodies.

Different approaches can be taken for the study of literature tangibility; among which it is worth highlighting the use of modern technologies for the digitisation and conservation of records with historical value. Besides, the benefits of digitisation and other technologies concerning tasks within the field of archives and libraries such as classification and study must be considered as well.

In this sense, the different works by Bukhari and Dengel and other authors (Ul-Hasan, Bukhari and Dengel) and (Jenckel, Bukhari and Dengel)- to facilitate the handling and study of the digitised documents using OCR are noteworthy. The work of Calanducci et al. and the article of El Bannay et al. are also worth mentioning. While the first work deals with the benefits of digitisation as well as the need of a good compiling system to make literary heritage accessible; the latter discusses the added complexities of the use of these technologies for texts written in Arabic.

Beyond the use of recent technologies for the creation, management and study of literary records, other approaches to the enhancement of heritage value in the material base of the literary expression can be found. Among them, the article of Connell on book collecting is worth highlighting because of the influence it exerts on other works.

The literary heritage as the immaterial legacy of the author as a creator

Another possible comprehension of the literary heritage concept which appears to be antagonistic to the approach described in the section above is the one that conceives literary heritage research as the study of the immaterial legacy generated and created by the author. In this way, the importance of the literary expression is put, on the one hand, on the set of ideas, values, feelings, etc. the creator-subject has generated and, on the other hand, on the study of the aesthetic quality of their texts.

Thus, the immaterial dimension of literature plays a prominent role in this research line. However, given the uniqueness of each author, the works developed around this conception of literary heritage do not offer a single methodology. Instead, each of them adapts to the specific characteristics of the author. It is for this reason that we can find such disparate works as Izotova's, dedicated to the philosopher and writer Unamuno, which takes a philosophical approach to make the figure of Unamuno and his philosophical principles known through the reading of his literary works, Karo's article, which refers to Dostoyevsky and his descriptions of epilepsy as the starting point for research on the psychological impact of this phenomenon or on the cultural complexities underlying cross-cultural phenomena; as it is the acceptance of Shakespeare's works by Asian cultures (Yang).

Along with this approach to the intangible dimension of an author's literary heritage, it is also possible to define a research line that focuses on the figure of the literary creator to emphasise, however, not their intangible creation, but their biography. An example of this research line is Pereira's work, which focuses on analysing the boom of biopics on the figure of Jane Austen and how her own biography gradually becomes part of the British literary heritage.

What is common to all these works is the fact that the author becomes the focus of the discussion on literary heritage--whether to analyse their concept of cosmovision, the cultural context depicted in their works, the feelings described in the work, the language used or, simply, their life. In this way, this line of research keeps a personal approach around literary heritage.

The social being in literary heritage

Literature is a cultural expression in which a subject, the author, offers the audience a written work. The latter, the intended audience of the literary work, gets immersed in the work and, at the same time, is influenced by it. In this way, author, book and society become part of a whole. If the two research lines described focused on 1) the text and its materiality and 2) the author; this third line emphasises the social value of literary heritage.

Given the complexity of the object of study, a number of very different research sub-lines appear around the analysis of the literary heritage social being; for this reason, they will be dealt with individually.

Language. One of the ways literature influences our society is through transformation of our language. This is done through the introduction of new terms, the transition from oral to written culture, through a grammar setting for those languages that do not have a normative grammar, etc. One of the most paradigmatic examples in this sense is Shakespeare, who enriched the English language lexicon through his works in such a way that his influence is still noticeable in today's everyday language.

Among the articles analysed in our research we have found examples of works that considered the influence of a specific work or author in their own native language, as it is the case of Kim's article, which deals with the language of Atticism, or the work of Silagadze and Ejibadze on the impact on society of the use of dialects as literary language and the perception of one's own language.

Collective identity. Communities build collective cultural imaginaries which are shared by the members of each community. The literature produced in a specific cultural context is a key source for the creation of that collective cultural imaginary, since this shared participation of common histories, places and characters reinforces the sense of collective identity of such cultural groups.

This premise is the base for research works on the influence of literature and literary heritage in the identity construction of certain groups as well as the valorisation of their historical memory.

Therefore, literary heritage can be understood as a part of a people's or community's intangible heritage, highlighting the close relationship existing between literary tradition, people and identity.

One of the most recent works examining this type of role played by literature is Shen's, which offers a critical view on the patriotic approach of most works of children's literature in China with the aim to stir up this feeling of identity. Another example worth mentioning, cited in a large number of articles, is the study of Sayfulina et al. which explores the relationship of Tartar literature and Sufism and the traditional beliefs of this people. In other cases, even if literary heritage is not the focus of the research, this heritage is understood as a key factor to build a collective identity. This is the case of Wilce Jr., who places literary heritage as an essential element for the construction of an identity, together with religion, ideology, ethnicity and nationalism.

Literary canon. The last point to be considered when examining the relationship between literature and society is the figure of the literary canon. This term refers to a body of literary works that strive to survive over time through the recognition of several actors who value their relevance (Bloom). These actors can be academic institutions, social groups, critical studies, or, even, other authors that acknowledge and recognise the influence of a specific author in their work. However, there is not a single literary canon, but a myriad of works that persist in society in different ways, thereby becoming literary heritage.

In this way, different articles on literary heritage linked to the notion of literary canon in its various meanings have been identified. On the one hand, Parlevliet's work, stands as an example of work that refers explicitly to a literary canon chosen by the academia. The author examines how adaptations can help in the conservation and dissemination of a canonical literary heritage whose reading is in decline. On the other hand, Ascoli and Capodivacca's text within the study framework of Machiavelli, explores how this author is double influenced by two different literary traditions: a classical literary heritage selected by the academic institution and a new vernacular literary heritage increasing in popularity within the Florentine society. To conclude, another noteworthy work is Hill's influential book, where literary heritage is viewed as canon based on the author's individuality, considering the readings shared by Bataille, Klossowski and Blanchot; a view that coincides with our approach to the notion of literary heritage.

Literary heritage, landscape and memory

As stated in the introduction section of this paper, literary heritage can also, be understood as a phenomenon that goes beyond the dimensions so far explored in this paper, even exceeding the bounds of the purely literary or linguistic sphere.

In this sense, the impact caused by literature in the collective imaginary is such that it can leave an imprint on the landscape. Castilla-la Mancha, in Spain is an example of literary landscape with its vast brown plains dotted with whitewashed windmills so closely associated with Don Quixote that identity of the work, author and territory blend into one, becoming a literary landscape. Thus, the literary landscape can be conceived as a part of the associative cultural landscape concept which UNESCO defines as that landscape which generates mental associations with cultural or religious expressions (UNESCO, Cultural Landscapes).

This effect caused by literature does not only concern landscapes but also more intimate spaces. Therefore, this line of research contemplates those works relating to intimate spaces and not so much to the literary work or the author himself. Besides, this line also includes works that study the figure of an author's house-museum or articles that explore the management of literary heritage under the approach specified here.

In this way and differently from the research lines explored previously in this paper, this line on literary heritage relates to the disciplines of human geography and tourism. Articles by Hede and Thine, stand out for their contribution to this research line by examining the visitors' perception of authenticity in literary heritage museums - consolidating the idea that literary heritage can be something tangible and linked to a specific location-. On the other hand, Gibson, researches on the relations between tourism, literary heritage and film adaptations. In the same line, other studies offer a more applied approached, as in the work of Macleod, Hayes and Slater, which focuses on the planning of themed self-guided routes on literary heritage or the latest article by Patricio Mulero and Rius-Ulldemolins where literary heritage is presented itself as an asset of the city--in this case, Barcelona --that can be used to Project a desired image of the city within the framework of UNESCO's creative cities network.


The literature review carried out in this paper allows conclusions to be drawn regarding the current state of research on literary heritage.

On the one hand, the present research has confirmed that continuity of, and increase in publications related to the concept of literary heritage starts to consolidate at the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century. This growth is most prominently led by the United Kingdom and the United States in terms of volume of publications; surprisingly, the number of publications in countries with a well-recognised literary tradition such as Germany, France or Italy is rather low. Besides, research on prominent literary figures such as Shakespeare or Joyce from a heritage approach is also limited. Moreover, it has been proven that there is not a scientific journal taking the role of a renowned publishing platform around literary heritage or any authors or benchmark universities that excel in number of publications.

To these quantitative data, the vast variety of literary heritage theme and research lines identified must be added. Even though most research lines study literary heritage from a literary point of view; this diversity has resulted in literary heritage acquiring a multi-vocal dimension.

These data, together with the evolution in volume of publications, allow us to conclude that literary heritage research has been scarce until quite recently. However, a clear upward trend has been observed, and literary heritage is undergoing a process of definition and consolidation of the various related research lines, which is demonstrated by the fact that all the different lines present current research.

However, such consolidation needs the following consideration: the increase in literary heritage research (2008 and 2009) arises almost immediately after UNESCO's promotion of the intangible heritage concept, on the one hand (UNESCO, Convention for the Safeguarding of the intangible), and of the preservation of cultural expressions (UNESCO, Convention on the protection and promotion).

When reading both of UNESCO's conventions it is made clear that 1) cultural expressions are closely related to the notion of intangible heritage and 2) the activities, cultural property or services derived from such expressions also belong to intangible heritage given their symbolic character. Thus, cultural expressions being embedded in intangible heritage, create a holistic and plural comprehension of intangible cultural literary-related heritage; holistic as it constrains to transcend the literary view of literary heritage and encompasses all those elements both tangible and intangible, activities and services which, filled with literature or related to it, feed on and interpret literature; and plural because, thanks to this comprehension, it allows the confluence of diverse disciplines to create knowledge on literary heritage.

Thus, the qualitative analysis carried out in the present paper concludes that such areas of knowledge as human geography or cultural tourism allow to delve into literary heritage from a different approach. For this reason, we consider it is necessary to encourage research on literary heritage from the research lines established by those disciplines and to foster working methodologies that go beyond mainstream case studies. With this purpose, it would also be interesting the creation of specific academic platforms that channel and give higher visibility to literary heritage research developed from a multidisciplinary approach.

Likewise, it is interesting to identify multidisciplinary approaches with a potential to generate knowledge around the notion of literary heritage. Along these lines, it is convenient to draw attention to, for example, the tourism and heritage education pairing as a space from which to develop research lines devoted to the visualisation and dissemination of literary heritage. It is also necessary to foster research whose objective is to innovate in literary heritage's didactics, as it has been done in other disciplines that have a wider experience in the use of heritage for educational purposes- a good example is the development of object-based learning as an ideal method for the teaching of history through historical heritage (LlonchMolina and Parisi-Moreno).

In conclusion, the present paper research has aimed at successfully defining a state of the art of literary heritage research that can be taken as a basis for the development of research related to the field of immaterial cultural heritage, which presents itself as an object of study with a high potential and a wide scope.

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Jordi Arcos-Pumarola

School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy CETT, University of Barcelona

Av. Can Marcet 36-38, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.


Nayra Llonch-Molina

Department of Special Didactics, Universitat de Lleida

Av. de l'Estudi General, 4, 25001 Lleida, Spain


Eugeni Osacar Marzal

School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy CETT, University of Barcelona

Address: Av. Can Marcet 36-38, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.


Authors Jordi Arcos Pumarola holds a Master degree on Cultural and Natural Heritage Management at School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy CETT, affiliated to the University of Barcelona. He is currently a PhD Student at Lleida University. He is also member of the Research Group on Tourism, Culture, and Territory at CETT-UB. His academic research focuses, on cultural and heritage tourism; and, on didactic museography as a way to visibilise, valorise and transmit intangible heritage. Nayra Llonch Molina holds a PhD in Didactic of Heritage and Social Sciences from the University of Barcelona. She is Professor in the department of specific didactics at Education, Social work and Psychology Faculty at Lleida University and member of the research group DHiGeCs (Didactic of History, Geography and other Social Sciences). Eugeni Osacar Marzal is Professor at School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy CETT, affiliated to the University of Barcelona. He holds a PhD in Didactic of Heritage and Social Sciences from the University of Barcelona. He is also the Academic Director of the CETT-UB Chair in Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy. He is an expert in marketing, heritage and cultural tourism, specializing in tourism and film.

Caption: Figure 1: Formation of Literary Heritage. (Arcos-Pumarola and Conill-Tetua) Based on (Robinson and Andersen).

Caption: Figure 2. Comparison of the number and evolution of scientific publications on literary heritage between WoS and Scopus (1950-2017). Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 3. Number and evolution of scientific publications on literary heritage in WoS and Scopus (1950-2017). Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 6. Main countries with a larger volume of publications on literary heritage during the period 1950-2017 in Scopus. Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 7. Main countries with a larger volume of publications on literary heritage during the period 1950-2017 in WoS. Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 8. Main countries with a larger volume of publications on literary heritage during the period 1950-2008 in Scopus and WoS. Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 9. Main scientific journals where articles on literary heritage are published in Scopus. Source: Own elaboration (2007).

Caption: Figure 10. Main scientific journals where articles on literary heritage are published in WoS. Source: Own elaboration (2007).

Caption: Figure 11. Main authors with works on literary heritage in Scopus. Source: Own elaboration

Caption: Figure 12. Main authors with works on literary heritage in WoS. Source: Own elaboration

Caption: Figure 13. Main universities that have produced research works focused on literary heritage. Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Caption: Figure 14. Main universities that have produced research works focused on literary heritage in WoS. Source: Own elaboration (2017).
Figure 4. Distribution of the percentage of Scopus' publications
on literary heritage during the three subperiods.

1950-2000   55%
2001-2010   37%
2011-2017    8%

Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Figure 5. Distribution of the percentage of WoS' publications on
literary heritage during the three subperiods.

1950-2000   39%
2001-2010   26%
2011-2017   35%

Source: Own elaboration (2017).

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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Author:Arcos-Pumarola, Jordi; Llonch-Molina, Nayra; Marzal, Eugeni Osacar
Publication:Forum for World Literature Studies
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Mar 1, 2019
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