Herder’s view on poetry is that it is proteus in nature, that is, it changes form according to the peoples’ language, customs, habits, according to their temperament, the climate, even according to their accent. Thus the art of poetry changes not only among different nations’ but also within one people. He also speaks about how poets are to be compared. According to him, poet’s art should be compared with respect to the producer. Everybody assesses and ranks poets according to his favorite notions, according to the fashion in which he got to know them, according to the impression that one or another has made on him. So he says that we must not blame any nation for preferring their poets to all others and for not wanting to relinquish them in exchange for foreign ones. It is because these poets are their own, who think in their language, have exercised their imaginations in in their context; they have felt the needs of their nation within which they were raised.
On one side Herder praised for the need for national literature, and on the other hand he said that no love of our nation should prevent us from recognizing everywhere the good that could only be increasingly produced in the great progression of time and people. So he gives importance to both national literature as well as world literature which marked the beginning of comparative literature.
J. W. von Goethe was one of the major figures in world literature. He was also the first person to formulate the concept