This chapter suggest that the task at hand is not to deplore Caryl Phillips’s adherence to old-fashioned humanism, but rather to reconstruct the kind of ethical argument he feels sanctions the literary practice rooted in the conflation of different historical experiences. Phillips’s embrace of cosmopolitanism is most clearly visible in his rejection of both physical rootedness and of a whole range of identity-based claims. The impossibility is an obsessive presence in Phillips’s fictional and nonfictional writings. The difficulty with both of the critical attitudes is that they refuse to take seriously Phillips’s commitment to cosmopolitanism and the attendant moral universalism. Cosmopolitanism is, Phillips seems to suggest, always an unfinished business. As James Ingram points out, cosmopolitanism generally entails a complex dialectic of disaffiliation and moral commitment: when cosmopolitans reject narrow loyalties, they generally do so because they believe that such loyalties stand in the way of cosmopolitanism’s central ethical imperative, religious, should count as objects of moral concern”.
|Title of host publication||The limits of cosmopolitanism : globalization and its discontents in contemporary literature|
|Editors||Aleksandar STEVIĆ , Philip TSANG|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Name||Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature|
STEVIĆ, A. (2019). Unbelonging : Caryl Phillips and the ethics of disaffiliation. In A. STEVIĆ , & P. TSANG (Eds.), The limits of cosmopolitanism : globalization and its discontents in contemporary literature (pp. 87-104). (Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429030666-6