Monday, 25 June 2007

NWW Session Two: Hari Kunzru

Hari Kunzru initiated the second session and focussed on questions of mobility and the limits of selfhood: is mobility (in physical, intellectual, individual and mass forms) a liberating experience, or is it morally troubling, disturbing necessary fixed concepts and assumptions?

He read from his novels The Impressionist and Transmission to begin a discussion about the voluntary or involuntary nature of exile, the homogeneity that globalization unleashes while at the same time opening up new experiences.

Eva Hoffman pointed out that the 'shape shifting' capacity of the exile (and writer) was a necessary capcacity to have in order to blend in, to fit and not be noticed. But at the same time, this capacity also arouses suspicion and distrust. Thus in being able to blend in, one remains other because one cannot be trusted.

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