By Rebecca Walkowitz
During this broad-ranging and bold intervention within the debates over the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of cosmopolitanism, Rebecca L. Walkowitz argues that modernist literary type has been an important to new methods of pondering and performing past the country. whereas she specializes in modernist narrative, Walkowitz means that type conceived expansively as perspective, stance, posture, and cognizance is helping to give an explanation for many different, nonliterary formations of cosmopolitanism in background, anthropology, sociology, transcultural reviews, and media studies.Walkowitz indicates that James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, and W. G. Sebald use the salient gains of literary modernism of their novels to discover assorted models of transnational inspiration, query ethical and political norms, and renovate the meanings of nationwide tradition and overseas attachment. by means of deploying literary strategies of naturalness, triviality, evasion, mix-up, treason, and vertigo, those six authors advertise principles of democratic individualism at the one hand and collective initiatives of antifascism or anti-imperialism at the different. Joyce, Conrad, and Woolf made their most important contribution to this "critical cosmopolitanism" of their mirrored image at the relationships among narrative and political principles of growth, aesthetic and social calls for for literalism, and sexual and conceptual decorousness. particularly, Walkowitz considers Joyce's critique of British imperialism and Irish nativism; Conrad's figuring out of the type of foreigners; and Woolf's exploration of ways colonizing regulations depend upon principles of honor and masculinity. Rushdie, Ishiguro, and Sebald have revived efforts to question the definitions and makes use of of naturalness, argument, software, attentiveness, reasonableness, and explicitness, yet their novels additionally deal with a number "new ethnicities" in late-twentieth-century Britain and different internationalisms of latest existence. They use modernist techniques to articulate dynamic conceptions of neighborhood and worldwide association, with Rushdie particularly including playfulness and confusion to the politics of antiracism. during this specified and interesting examine, Walkowitz exhibits how Joyce, Conrad, and Woolf built a repertoire of narrative concepts firstly of the 20th century that have been remodeled via Rushdie, Ishiguro, and Sebald on the finish. Her booklet brings to the leading edge the crafty idiosyncrasies and political ambiguities of twentieth-century modernist fiction. (Fall 2007)
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Additional resources for Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation
Leavis proposes that Conrad does not belong to English culture voluntarily, as a cosmopolitan would, but rather he belongs “in the full sense,” by nature (8). Leavis describes Conrad’s choice as a compulsion that follows not the pleasures of cultural mixing or even the necessities of social circumstance but the imperatives of art. Claiming that Conrad’s “themes and interests demanded the concreteness and action—the dramatic energy—of English” (7–8), Leavis uses the international Conrad to create a natural national tradition: a literary and cultural lineage that is both coherent and continuous.
The midcentury debate about modernism and international politics is in some ways old-fashioned, especially in its Cold War distinctions between First and Third World. However, the debate remains signiﬁcant and inﬂuential in its eﬀorts to think about modernism globally and to consider whether the aesthetic strategies of literary modernism are relevant to projects of antiracism and decolonization. ” (947), an essay composed in the wake of the Second World War, Jean-Paul Sartre argues that “committed literature” is the necessary and strategic response to the international problems of the postwar era.
My use of “tactics” is somewhat diﬀerent than de Certeau’s because writers are producers as well as consumers: British modernists have used new critical attitudes to circulate and provoke new conceptions of self and community. TACTICS Each of the following chapters examines a “tactic” or “attitude” of critical cosmopolitanism as it is developed in the work of a twentieth-century novelist and in theories of modernism and international culture: Joseph Conrad’s “naturalness,” James Joyce’s “triviality,” Virginia Woolf ’s “evasion,” Salman Rushdie’s “mix-up,” Kazuo Ishiguro’s “treason,” and W.