"A Multilingual Life": The Cosmopolitan and Globalectic Dimensions of Shirley Geok-lin Limâ€™s Writings
The new debates in cosmopolitanism over the last decade are the latest attempt to imagine a critical framework that is more culturally inclusive. These cosmopolitan discussions offer fertile possibilities for discovering new relevance in those multicultural or "ethnic" writings traditionally marginalised in national and transnational formations. Post-multicultural and post-ethnic writers can be given critical recognition as mediating figures that facilitate new relations between national cultures and the global or, in Ngugi wa Thiongoâ€™s more felicitous term "globalectics." The very elements that have been traditionally associated with their constitutive oppression, the belief that they are at home nowhere or in more than one place, could be rethought to constitute their greatest attribute â€“ that they can navigate the structures of belonging in multiple ways, not least by challenging the complacent assumptions or self-evident universalisms that undergird many forms of both nationalism and globalisation. Shirley Geok-lin Limâ€™s texts will be analysed to show how she is an exemplary figure of the neo-cosmopolitan globalectic writer.
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