“But What’s Nationality These Days?”: Cosmopolitanism Old and New in the Prologue of In a Free State

Author:Weiwei Xu Time:2019-07-10 Click:

In the prologue ofIn a Free State, Naipaul casts his writer’s net over a multiplicity of underprivileged transnationals, to discuss a series of complex issues of nationality, border-crossing and immigration in violent collision with cosmopolitan ideals. Focusing on the suffering of the tramp, Naipaul questions the social viability of cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and on the other hand foresees the inevitability of cosmopolitanism transforming from an elitist notion consumed by a select few into a plebeian tendency encountered by allmankind in the global world. As being free-floating and unattached is no longer celebratory,cosmopolitanism should be seen more as a way to fuse openness for survival.

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