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Resisting the Cosmopolitan Novel?: World Literature at Large
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för film och litteratur (IFL). (Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Archives of Resistance : Cosmopolitanism, Memory and World Literature: Three-day International ConferenceUniversity of Leeds, June 20-22 2018, 2018Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

If the cosmopolitan mindset favours the “individual’s freedom from received roles and identities” over “the belief that nations and local cultures have value to their members over and above a universal community of citizens” (Gillman, p. 49f), what would the cosmopolitan novel favour? And where is the place for a cosmopolitan novel in world literature today?

Revisiting the current definitions of world literature that presuppose that “books begin in one place and then move out to other places” (Walkowitz, p. 573), this paper considers two novels that both thematise and challenge these definitions and presuppositions of literary migration. The publication and translation strategy of South African J. M Coetzee’s Diary of a Bad Year (2007) problematizes the idea of the origin and subsequent dispersion of the literary work. In Brazilian Chico Buarque’s Budapest (2003, Eng. tr. 2005), the national and cultural origin of the literary work itself is called into question through the illusive identity of the protagonist as well as the migratory setting of the narrative. Hence, it may be argued that these two novels exemplify the cosmopolitan novel while resisting being defined as world literature.

At the same time, there are features in both novels that may be interpreted as questioning cosmopolitanism. In Budapest, for example, the freedom of travel and linguistic appropriation that the narrator protagonist enjoys also illustrate the privileges of the cosmopolitan citizen and the inequality between different types of migrants in the age of globalization.

In short, the aim of the paper is to explore literary cosmopolitanism and world literature through the two novels, in order to gauge the tension between these concepts and consider what this tension may tell us about literature in and about migration.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2018.
Nationell ämneskategori
Litteraturvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Humaniora, Litteraturvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-79254OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-79254DiVA, id: diva2:1272025
Konferens
Archives of Resistance : Cosmopolitanism, Memory and World Literature : Three-day International ConferenceUniversity of Leeds, June 20-22 2018
Tillgänglig från: 2018-12-18 Skapad: 2018-12-18 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-06-25Bibliografiskt granskad

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