The Essay as a Space of Globalization in Montaigne’s ‘Des Cannibales’ and Maryse Condé’s ‘O Brave New World’
This chapter examines the cultural history of globalization by focusing on the genre of the essay as a site of paradoxical trans-historical and transcultural encounters. Reading against the grain of traditional disciplinary divisions, it considers the emergence of globalization from the sixteenth century to the present day in the rhetorical strategies of two essays: Michel de Montaigne’s ‘Des Cannibales’ and Maryse Condé’s ‘O Brave New World’. It analyses the staging of the various literal and metaphorical encounters in both essays and compares the uses made of ideas of ‘cultural tradition’ and ‘Utopia’. It explains how the essay can be employed as a privileged site for rethinking the cultural and structural relations that have historically defined the phenomenon of globalization.
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