Appropriating Borges: The Weary Man, Utopia, And Globalism (Jorge Luis Borges' A Weary Man's Utopia) (Critical Essay) Appropriating Borges: The Weary Man, Utopia, And Globalism (Jorge Luis Borges' A Weary Man's Utopia) (Critical Essay)

Appropriating Borges: The Weary Man, Utopia, And Globalism (Jorge Luis Borges' A Weary Man's Utopia) (Critical Essay‪)‬

Utopian Studies 2008, Wntr, 19, 1

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Publisher Description

In the story "A Weary Man's Utopia" by Jorge Luis Borges, a traveler finds himself in an unrecognizable world. He enters the home of a man clothed in gray who has no name. The man lives in a time of shared global achievements: poverty, wealth and illness have been eradicated; also gone is the diversity of particular peoples, languages, places, cultures, and governments. With particular differences and attachments no longer standing in the way, the people of the future are able to realize universal human goals. This article appropriates images from Borges's story to explore assumed tensions between particularism and universalism. We grapple with the question of how, in an age of fundamentalisms, particularism can be understood to be "justifiable in universalist terms" (Nussbaum, "Can Patriotism Be Compassionate?" 13). This question has been addressed in the political-science literature in the context of conversations regarding patriotism and cosmopolitanism: the former being assumed to correspond to particularist attachments, and the latter to universalist ideals. Efforts to promote localism or globalism are understood as loosely representing popular outgrowths of particularism and universalism, respectively. We begin with a brief overview of that academic conversation and then move on to a discussion of how Borges's fictional images lend themselves to a more nuanced understanding of the issues underlying that academic conversation. In particular, we argue that Borges's tale makes vivid the ramifications of emphasizing the universal to the exclusion of the particular, and thereby we expose the significant problems such an approach must confront. I

GENRE
Religion & Spirituality
RELEASED
2008
1 January
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
20
Pages
PUBLISHER
Pennsylvania State University Press
SIZE
214
KB

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