Being Taught Something World-Sized

  • This paper reads ‘The Detainee’s Tale as told to Ali Smith’ (2016) as an exemplary demonstration of the work of world literature. Smith’s story articulates an ethics of reading that is grounded in the recipient’s openness to the singular, unpredictable, and unverifiable text of the other. More specifically, Smith’s account enables the very event that it painstakingly stages: the encounter with alterity and newness, which is both the theme of the narrative and the effect of the text on the reader. At the same time, however, the text urges to move from an ethics of literature understood as the responsible reception of the other by an individual reader to a more explicitly convivial and political ethics of commitment beyond the scene of reading.

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Author details:Dirk WiemannGND
Title of parent work (English):The Work of World Literature
Subtitle (English):'The Detainee's Tale as Told to Ali Smith' and the Work of World Literature
Publisher:ICI Press
Place of publishing:Berlin
Editor(s):Benjamin Lewis Robinson
Publication type:Article
Year of first publication:2021
Completion year:2021
Release date:2021/06/04
Tag:Ali Smith; Refugee Tales; anagogy; ethics; singularity; world literature
First page:149
Last Page:172
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
DDC classification:8 Literatur / 81 Amerikanische Literatur in Englisch / 810 Amerikanische Literatur in in Englisch
License (German):License LogoCC BY-NC-SA - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, Weitergabe zu gleichen Bedingungen, 4.0 International