Transcultural Writers and Transcultural Literature in the Age of Global Modernity
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Peer reviewed article. In our rapidly globalising world, cultures, as well as societies and identities, tend to be more fluid, less irreducibly different and less 'territorially fixed' than in the past (Schulze-Engler 2007, p. 27). Especially now, when cosmopolitan issues and pluralistic sensibilities - driven by transnational and transcommunal experiences - tend to become more relevant. It is within this emerging social context that a new generation of mobile writers, on the move across cultural and national boundaries, has started expressing a "transcultural" sensibility and mode of being, fostered by "the process of self-distancing, self-estrangement, and self criticism of one's own cultural identities and assumptions" (Epstein 1999, p. 307). In this paper, I argue that the main element that distinguishes these early 'transcultural writers' from their precursors and/or 'cousin species' (migrant/exile/diasporic/postcolonial writers) - albeit all belonging to the wider 'genus' of 'the literature of mobility' - is their relaxed, neonomadic attitude when facing issues linked to identity, nationality, rootlessness and dislocation. An attitude that reflects itself also in their creative outputs, which can already be inscribed within the realm of transcultural literature, a literature able to transcend the borders of a single culture in its choice of topic, vision and scope, thus contributing to promote a wider global literary perspective (Pettersson 2006).