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Abstract

This project is about four cosmopolitan writers, foreigners to one another, who lived through and wrote about the long mid-twentieth century. Metropolitans apart, they are Evelyn Waugh, Marguerite Duras (Donnadieu), Samuel Beckett, and Hayashi Fumiko. Each writer was born to modern British, French, Irish, and Japanese nation-state formations. But, as global writers, each also traveled—both imaginatively and in embodied ventures—beyond native spaces. Collectively, though at a distance from one another, they used the resources of non-native materials to craft historical fiction of their time. Common in their world-citizenship at mid-century, this diverse group of modernist cosmopolitans negotiates the problem of modernity through complex descriptive representations of historical contemporaneity. The scope of their collective literary project—the prompt for my own study of global convergences and divergences—captures both the shallow-instantaneous and deep-mnemonic historical structures of communal globality.

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