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From Exilic to Mobile Identities: Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and the Cosmopolitanization of Irish Reality
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8434-1747
2016 (English)In: Irish university review, ISSN 0021-1427, E-ISSN 2047-2153, Vol. 46, no 2, 359-376 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The theme of displacement and a view of exile that differs from traditional definitions of the concept and its associations with feelings of loss and nostalgia are a constant in Colum McCann's oeuvre. Images of flight and fleeing are recurrent in his work and underscore the centrality that mobility occupies in his fictional world, in which these flights are, not infrequently, a metaphorical act of escapism from material reality and physical conditioning. However, mobility in Let the Great World Spin is articulated as a characteristically twenty-first century phenomenon in its emphasis on how interconnectivity beyond differences, especially in the form of transnational exchanges, characterizes contemporary societies and shapes individual realities and identities. This essay contends that this transnational interconnectivity is not only foregrounded at the narrative level, thematically and in terms of narrative structure; McCann's tangentially framing of this novel within American post-9/11 fiction, while formally echoing an Irish literature of exile and thematically relating to an Irish literature of migration and fictions of the global, suggests the process in which new imaginative realities and identities are shaped from a cosmopolitan outlook that promotes the synergetic dialogue between national and transnational differences in the creation of a cosmopolitanized reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 46, no 2, 359-376 p.
Keyword [en]
Ireland, Literature, Colum McCann
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-15118DOI: 10.3366/iur.2016.0232ISI: 000389744100008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-15118DiVA: diva2:741979
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-1820
Available from: 2014-08-29 Created: 2014-08-29 Last updated: 2017-01-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf