Experimental Cosmopolitanism

  • Didier Coste


World Literature emerged as a concept at the same time as Comparative Literature began developing as an academic discipline. Accelerated globalization after WWII has led to conflictive revisions of Comparative methods and critiques of the ideologies of World Literature. Ancient and renewed cosmopolitan theories, attitudes, and life practices are the shared, but often hidden or resisted philosophical background of Comparative and World Literature. World citizenship is not possible under present law and remains a utopian horizon or a self-deluding proclamation unless it is theorized and practiced as grounded on the joint principles of anthropological unity and cultural diversity. Experimental cosmopolitanism, a fundamentally secular ex-centering of the reading subject, multiplies local and glocal points of view on text versions, never treated as static and unique originals.


Comparative literature Cosmopolitanism Cultural relativism Experimental knowledge Globalization Plurilingualism Reader-oriented criticism Universalism World Literature 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Didier Coste
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Université Bordeaux MontaignePessacFrance
  2. 2.Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study, Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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