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The idea of universalism inherited from the French Revolution has been strongly discredited by its colonial history; today, it is also the target of nationalist attacks. What remains of it? Now available in English, Markus Messling's critically acclaimed study shows how contemporary Francophone literatures seek, after European universalism, approaches to a new universality, without which knowledge and justice cannot be organised in world society.
With a foreword by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
Markus Messling, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.
“Messling’s book makes an essential claim, which is that the end of European universalism is not in fact the end of universality but perhaps its beginning.”– Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Foreword
“The originality of this essay lies in its use of literary works.”– Catherine Mazauric, En attendant Nadeau
“Markus Messling has written a witty book, stressing the importance of literature and of literature in French to understand the world we live in. His book bears witness to his in-depth knowledge with literatures in French and provides promising approaches to go beyond the sterile boundaries between French and francophone literatures.”– Timo Obergöker, Modern and Contemporary France
“The book’s wide scope makes it a valuable and highly relevant contribution to ongoing debates.”– Joseph Hanimann, Süddeutsche Zeitung
“The literary scholar Markus Messling is interested in the phenomenon of ‘world’ and how it is created in literature. The novel is the place where political upheavals are increasingly being negotiated. … In the French authors he reads, Messling discovers topics that paradigmatically illustrate the contemporary zeitgeist in Europe: the dismantling of social services, rage, the loss of ideals, groundlessness, and melancholy.”– Susanne Luerweg, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
“Analyzing francophone authors, Messling shows how a new concept of world literature has emerged under the sign of postcolonialism. And he introduces us to names that are hardly known in Germany: the Togolese writer Kossi Efoui, the Canadian-Lebanese author Wajdi Mouawad, or the Cameroonian novelist Léonora Miano.”– Gregor Dotzauer, Der Tagesspiegel
“The number of philologists who can claim to read along the pulse of our time is limited. Markus Messling is one of them.”– Florian Gödel, Nilpferdkönige
“Messling writes in a scholarly voice that is elegant and accessible.”– Frank Hahn, tell. Magazin für Literatur und Zeitgenossenschaft
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