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Cosmopolitanism, Cross-cultural Negotiation and the Comparatist Mind

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Abstract

This paper addresses the persisting problem of the deficit of cross-cultural negotiation that all too often reduces the role of public readers to the dissemination of supposedly national or regional values, privileging a unique locus of origin —generally the reader’s birthplace and mother tongue— over the circulation and sharing, even in conflict, that reveal the mixed and impure character of any cultural formation and are constitutive of its dynamics. When “World Literature” and “Comparative Literature” are becoming synonymous or fused together, and Literary and Cultural Theory at large appear as the obligatory grounding of the study of literary texts and phenomena, a truly cosmopolitan practice, method and attitude is a precondition of any politically responsible public reading, and this cosmopolitanism, far from any established universalism, imperial or not, will be experimental, drawing on the readerly nature of the mixed present rather than on the writerly resources of separate traditions.

Keywords

Cosmopolitanism, Cross-cultural Negotiation, Comparative Literature, Literary Theory

 

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