J.-M.G. Le Clézio and Amitav Ghosh are prolific award-winning writers who train their reader's eye on transversal and lateral exchanges in the Indian Ocean. This essay presents an approach to the study of their novels as littérature mondialisante rather than littérature-monde, that is, as world-forming literature rather than world literature. Borrowing from Jean-Luc Nancy's philosophical discussion in The Creation of the World or Globalization, I propose a notion of world literature as a critical practice attentive to the mobilities within the texts. Theoretical considerations about postcolonial world literature are coupled with anthropologist Engseng Ho's distinction between the colonial and the imperial. I argue that the respective aesthetic priorities of these authors, and their fictional use of the histories of slavery and indenture in Mauritius, are best understood by means of the notion of interactive universalisms, which I borrow (and modify) from Seyla Benhabib.
World Literature, Postcolonial Studies, and Coolie Odysseys: J.-M.g. Le Clézio's and Amitav Ghosh's Indian Ocean Novels
Françoise Lionnet; World Literature, Postcolonial Studies, and Coolie Odysseys: J.-M.g. Le Clézio's and Amitav Ghosh's Indian Ocean Novels. Comparative Literature 1 September 2015; 67 (3): 287–311. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00104124-3137225
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