Venturing into the ‘virtually unmarked territory’ shared between the disciplines of postcolonialism and world literary studies, Robert Young (2014, 213), while observing their corresponding global reach and utilisation of an expanded canon, nonetheless suggests that the two diverge around issues of politics and of dissent. World literature, for Young, evokes universal standards of aesthetic value and is defined ‘as the best literature, literature of such quality and insight that it transcends its local context to establish itself as universal’ (213–4), while ‘postcolonial literature makes no such assertion, and indeed insofar as it involves resistance, will always in some sense be partial, locked into a particular problematic of power’ (216). The postcolonial, in other words, is a literature of resistance. Aiming ‘to expose and challenge imbalances of power, and the different forms of injustice that follow from such factors […] [p]ostcolonial literature will always seek to go beyond itself to impact upon the world which it represents’ (217). The notion that postcolonial literature will necessarily attempt ‘to impact upon the world which it represents’ is by no means an uncontested assertion as it implicitly recalls the protracted dispute within the critical wing of postcolonial studies between first-wave poststructuralists (notably Bhabha, Spivak, and Said) and the Marxist second-wave, which repudiated the former’s fixation on language and discourse to the detriment of a demonstrated awareness of on-the-ground, actual, and material anticolonial struggle (cf Parry 2004). Of critical significance, I contend, is that this very division is being replicated within the contemporary field of world literary studies as the increasing visibility of structural-materialist forms of analysis are confronted with a line of enquiry that puts pressure on the relationship between world and its literary representation. As Pascale Casanova queries, ‘[i]s it possible to re-establish the lost bond between literature, history and the world, while still maintaining a full sense of the irreducible singularity of literary texts?’ (2005, 71).