National Consciousness and Literary Cosmopolitics
Postcolonial Literature in a Global Moment
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
Series: Transoceanic Studies
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Title Page, Copyright
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This book grew out of a dissertation written for my PhD at Brown University where I had the pleasure and privilege of being taught and mentored by Olakunle George, Timothy Bewes, and Rey Chow. Nancy Arm-strong, Leonard Tennenhouse, and Khachig T?l?lyan also offered invaluable advice and encouragement during my years at Brown, and I am especially grateful to John Marx, who read almost every word of this book?s early drafts ...
Introduction: Constellations, Critical Nationality, and Literary Cosmopolitics
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This book is concerned with the conjunctions of national conscious-ness and literary cosmopolitics in a global moment rather than making a case for or against the nation from political, economic, or anthropological perspectives. Drawing on the aesthetic theory and negative dialectical think-ing of Frankfurt School critic Theodor Adorno, I argue that postcolonial literary form and style negates the homogenizing and exclusionary impulse ...
1. Articulating Adorno with Postcolonial Critique: Fanon, Said, Spivak
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...nationalism is an inevitable phenomenon of global modernity, and its emergence and consolidation go hand in glove?or more appropri-ately, hand on globe?with European conquest and colonization of peoples the world over and with the struggles against colonialism and for self-deter-mination by these formerly colonized peoples from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Therefore, a thorough understanding of nationalism ...
2. "More English than English:" Kazuo Ishiguro's Negation of National Nostalgia
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...if Kazuo Ishiguro did not exist, British literature would have had to invent him. His novels have been acclaimed as diasporic, international, or cosmo-politan, and Ishiguro?s own Japanese-British cultural hybridity has often been lauded as the basis of his transnational perspectives. However, in this chapter my analysis of The Remains of the Day, The Unconsoled, and When We Were Orphans suggests that Ishiguro adopts a diasporic perspective toward an ...
3. "The Possibilities of the New Country We Are Making:" Transnational Fragments and National Consciousness in Derek Walcott's Writing
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...midway through The Prodigal (2004), Derek Walcott, whose speaker in this book-length poem is almost a direct expression of Walcott himself as both an aging writer and a frequent transatlantic traveler, catches sight of the Caribbean islands as he moves through the coastal region of Colombia and responds with qualified joy, calling ?the Caribbean, owned and exultant grinning and comforting,? a place that is ?not a new coast, but home? (Chap-...
4. "Not Monological but Multilogical:" Gender, Hybridity, and National Narratives in Shirley Geok-Lin Lim's Writing
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...shirley Geok-lin Lim, like Derek Walcott, appears at first glance to be an exemplary transnational and cosmopolitan subject, both personally and professionally. Born in Malacca, Lim grew up and was educated in the former British colonies of Malaysia and Singapore, but she is better known in the United States as an Asian American writer and critic-scholar. In this chapter, however, I argue that Lim?s scholarly writing and fiction form a con-...
5. Ethnographic Tactics and the Cosmopolitical Aesthetic in Contemporary Malaysian Fiction
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...in 2008, Salman Rushdie?s Midnight?s Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1980, was given an additional honor by the prize committee when it was selected for the Best of the Booker award. When asked about the qualities of a Booker-Prize-winning novel, one of the prize organizers candidly replied that ?the key is literary tourism?taking the reader somewhere they are not familiar with? and ?giv[ing] people information and feeling about something ...
Conclusion: Nation, Narration, Negation
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...like Adorno?s posthumously published Aesthetic Theory, the work of post-colonial nationalism is unfinished and, although seemingly dated, stands in need of reinterpretation for the global moment as a sociopolitical forma-tion imagined through literature as aesthetic form and cultural discourse. In this conclusion I discuss literary criticism?s recent turn away from the nation and nationalism as both an intellectual topic and a conceptual framework ...
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Other Works in the Series, Back Cover
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Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Transoceanic Studies