By Rebecca Walkowitz
During this broad-ranging and impressive intervention within the debates over the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of cosmopolitanism, Rebecca L. Walkowitz argues that modernist literary kind has been an important to new methods of pondering and appearing past the state. whereas she makes a speciality of modernist narrative, Walkowitz means that kind conceived expansively as perspective, stance, posture, and attention is helping to provide an explanation for many different, nonliterary formations of cosmopolitanism in heritage, anthropology, sociology, transcultural experiences, and media studies.Walkowitz exhibits 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 notion, query ethical and political norms, and renovate the meanings of nationwide tradition and overseas attachment. by way 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 tasks of antifascism or anti-imperialism at the different. Joyce, Conrad, and Woolf made their most vital contribution to this "critical cosmopolitanism" of their mirrored image at the relationships among narrative and political rules of development, 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 category of foreigners; and Woolf's exploration of ways colonizing guidelines depend upon rules of honor and masculinity. Rushdie, Ishiguro, and Sebald have revived efforts to question the definitions and makes use of of naturalness, argument, application, attentiveness, reasonableness, and explicitness, yet their novels additionally deal with a number "new ethnicities" in late-twentieth-century Britain and different internationalisms of latest lifestyles. They use modernist suggestions to articulate dynamic conceptions of neighborhood and international association, with Rushdie particularly including playfulness and confusion to the politics of antiracism. during this designated and fascinating examine, Walkowitz exhibits how Joyce, Conrad, and Woolf constructed a repertoire of narrative techniques firstly of the 20 th century that have been remodeled by way of Rushdie, Ishiguro, and Sebald on the finish. Her e-book brings to the leading edge the crafty idiosyncrasies and political ambiguities of twentieth-century modernist fiction. (Fall 2007)
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Extra info for Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation
I have looked for words that function, often tacitly or unremarkably, within debates about modernism, political strategies of writing, and cosmopolitanism. My own tactics are comparative in several senses: broadly, I have compared projects of critical cosmopolitanism with projects of modernist narrative, in an eﬀort to revise what “international modernism” is and to argue that early-twentieth-century literary strategies continue to shape cosmopolitan practices at the end of the twentieth century; more narrowly, I have brought together the novels of contemporary immigrant writers, which focus on the global, non-Western entanglements of British culture, with those of European modernists, which focus primarily on the experiences of British-born characters and on entanglements closer to home.
S. modernist texts are not models but tools; using Wilde, Shaw, Joyce, and Faulker, Bengalis created their own attitude of modernity. As I see it, my extended account of critical and alternative cosmopolitanisms has two important consequences: ﬁrst, it suggests that cultural strategies of posture have a signiﬁcant role in even those cosmopolitan paradigms that involve actors who are not social elites or whose position in the world is not in all ways privileged; second, and more tendentiously, it suggests that paradigms that emphasize ethical or political commitments may contain antiheroic or aleatory impulses, whose inﬂuence can be seen in the articulation of more narrow kinds of eﬃcacy or in the strategic refusal of aspects of modernization, instrumentality, attentiveness, and historicism.
R. Leavis claims in his canonical account of the English novel. Only because he was foreign, Leavis argued in 948, could Conrad choose English and 36 COSMOPOLITAN MODERNISM thus inaugurate “the great tradition” that precedes him: Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Henry James. 3 Aiming to describe a distinctly national tradition, Leavis emphasizes preference and patriotism, but he minimizes agency and self-consciousness, which would imply cosmopolitanism. 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).