Book Description

Focused on the recently hotly debated topic at the crossroads of various human and social sciences, this book investigates the emergence of the cosmopolitan idea of literature and its impact on the reconfiguration of the European and non-European political spaces. The birthplace of this idea is its designers’ traumatic experience as induced by the disconcerting condition of their abode.The thesis is that the eighteenth and nineteenth century’s cosmopolitan projects that grow out of such deep frustrations trace the twentieth century’s global democracy. This hidden origin of cosmopolitan projects dismantles the usual European representation of modernization as universal progress as myopic. Rather than being a generous action of prominent subjects such as Voltaire, Kant, and Goethe, or Bakhtin, Derrida and Deleuze, cosmopolitanism is an enforced reaction of the instances dispossessed by injury that search for the ways of healing it. Yet as soon as their remedy establishes itself as the ground for universal reconciliation, it risks suppressing other’s trauma, i.e. turns from politics into a police. Articulating the author’s position in the recent debates on the structure of democracy, the epilogue suggests an alternative strategy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Part I: Toward a Global Community: The Emergence of the Modern Idea of Literature
    1. 1 The Divided Legacy of the Republic of Letters: Emancipation and Trauma
    2. 2 The Fissured Identity of Literature: National Universalism and/or Cosmopolitan Nationalism
      1. 2.1 Intertwined opposites
      2. 2.2 The emergence of the national literary historiography
      3. 2.3 Cosmopolitan patriot and democratic tyrant: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
      4. 2.4 Who is authorized to represent “naturalcommunities”?
      5. 2.5 Identification by alienation
    3. 3 The Janus Face of Literary Bildung: Education and/or Self-Formation?
      1. 3.1 “Having the other” and “being the other”
      2. 3.2 Differences between the Bildung concepts
      3. 3.3 Mirroring and interweaving
      4. 3.4 Resolving ambiguity, instituting difference
    4. 4 Who Voices Universal History? Kant’s “Mankind” and/or Herder’s “Nature”
      1. 4.1 Introduction
      2. 4.2 Kant's advocacy of mankind
      3. 4.3 Herder's advocacy of nature
    5. 5 Who Worlds the Literature? Goethe’s Weltliteratur and Globalization
      1. 5.1 Comparative literature as the promoter of globalization
      2. 5.2 Goethe's detachment from globalization
      3. 5.3 Getting out of the crowd: Goethe's elitist cosmopolitanism
      4. 5.4 The acting out of the traumatic experience
      5. 5.5 A retroactive reinvestment of Goethe's cosmopolitanism
      6. 5.6 Goethe's trauma narrative: Repositioning German literature
      7. 5.7 From exemption to expansion: Toward the Roman imperial cosmopolitanism
      8. 5.8 Translatingthe “iron law of kinship” into the “free competition of values”: The U.S.-American trauma narrative
  8. Part II: An Observer under Observation: The Cosmopolitan Legacy of Modern Theory
    1. 6 Interiorizing the Exteriority: The Cosmopolitan Authorization of the Theoretical Truth
    2. 7 The Narrative of Permanent Displacement: Early German Romanticism and Its Theoretical Afterlife
      1. 7.1 Reappropriatingthe early Romanticist legacy
      2. 7.2 The pattern of irritated overcoming: the entangled opponents
      3. 7.3 Literature against philosophy: Niklas Luhmann's autopoietic turn
      4. 7.4 Passionately commited to the memory of the whole
      5. 7.5 The European entangled legacy
      6. 7.6 The novel as the epitome of evolutionary necessity
    3. 8 The Oppositional Literary Transcendental: The Russian Formalist Rewriting of Early Romanticist Cosmopolitanism
      1. 8.1 The post-imperial hyphenation and early Romanticist legacy
      2. 8.2 Literature's persistent self-exemption – modern literary theory's cosmopolitan operation
      3. 8.3 The resurgence ofthe disempowered law
      4. 8.4 Unleashing the force of self-exemption
    4. 9 The All-DevouringModern Mind: Bakhtin’s Cosmopolitan Self
      1. 9.1 Confronting mind with self-displacing life
      2. 9.2 Autopian cosmopolitan community
      3. 9.3 The authorial operation: expandingthe self by consummatingthe others
      4. 9.4 A counterfactual compensatory project
      5. 9.5 The divine and the devalued other – a constitutive interdependency
    5. 10 Countering the Empirical Evidence: From Immigrant Cosmopolitanism to a Cosmopolitanism of the Disregarded
      1. 10.1 Abstracting from natural transcendentals
      2. 10.2 Dis/empoweringthe cosmopolitan police
      3. 10.3 At the empowering service of a powerless victim: Emmanuel Levinas
      4. 10.4 The disabling enablement of the theorist: Maurice Blanchot and Michel Foucault
      5. 10.5 Empowering the literary transcendental: Jacques Derrida
    6. 11 Political and/or Literary Community: From Class to Messianic Cosmopolitanism
      1. 11.1 Singularity – a European mission?
      2. 11.2 The class cosmopolitanism of Cultural Studies
      3. 11.3 Cruelly attached to unfathomable singularity
      4. 11.4 The counter-narrativeof singularity
      5. 11.5 Vanishing mediation
    7. 12 Literature as Deterritorialization: New Vistas for Democracy?
      1. 12.1 Gilles Deleuze: emancipation through dehumanization
      2. 12.2 Jacques Rancière: emancipation through deregulation
      3. 12.3 Reintroducing the agent of universality: politics turned into police
  9. Epilogue The Practice of Recommencing: Toward a Cosmopolitanism of the Dispossessed Belonging
  10. References
  11. Index
  12. Endnotes