Damrosch provides a clear, well-written overview of the merits and problems of studying "world" literature. The book handily explores questions of definition, translation, cross-cultural interpretation and understanding, and how to think about some of the power dynamics involved in this area. There's a particularly strong chapter on how various texts portray other places, that is particularly well done. Overall, the examples are useful and interesting - he tends towards the slightly profane or lewd ones, I think, which gives the book a nice irreverent feel, and will hopefully keep the students' interest. The text closes with a consideration of globalization and how it has shaped the reading - and writing - of world literature.
Whether you're just beginning literary studies or are, say, a phd student in comparative literature who has spent an awful lot of time thinking about the notion of world literature, the book is not only of interest, but even contains useful and interesting insights. I was really impressed. Much recommended.
PS - If my students turn out to have surprising reactions to the book, I'll report back.