Much has been said about the relationship between globalization and culture and the political implications of that relationship. There has been little effort made, however, to investigate the effect of globalization on poetics or on the ethical moment of literature. World Writing is therefore concerned with studying the intersection of contemporary ethics, poetics, and globalization through historical and critical readings of writing from various parts of the world.
Following an introductory chapter by Mary Gallagher, which maps this conceptual terrain, the contributors investigate how globalization inflects the necessary relationship between poetics, culture, ethics, and politics. Among the essays are Celia Britton's reading of Édouard Glissant on languages in the globalized world; Mary Gallagher's comparison of Glissant's poetics of cultural diversity with the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas; David Palumbo-Liu's exploration of the ethics of postcolonial fiction in J.M. Coetzee's work; Mary Louise Pratt's critique, based on recent Latin American writing, of the prematurely celebratory nature of globalization; and Julia Kristeva's argument for the value of poetics and the ethics of hospitality. What emerges is an intricate discussion of the elusive relationship between the realms of ethics, poetics, and politics as they intersect in our changing world.