A Pseudo-Epiphanius Testimony Book (Early Christian by Robert V. Hotchkiss

By Robert V. Hotchkiss

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Sample text

For Smith, reading together is an excellent way of finding pleasure in mutual sympathy (8). A public education that leads one to sympathize with others outside one’s immediate domestic sphere might nurture any number of bold new ideas. It does so, however, only at the risk of losing “dutiful children” for “want of habitual sympathy” (223–24). Similarly, we might presume that, for Smith, a cosmopolitan education that brings one into habitual sympathy with those beyond one’s national borders occurs only at the risk of losing dutiful neighbors or dutiful citizens.

It differs from these arguments by tending to argue for the cosmopolitan character of particular kinds of literature, be they modernist, postmodern, or postcolonial. Sympathy and Cosmopolitanism 35 For example, Jessica Berman, in Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism, and the Politics of Community (2001), argues that “modernist fiction challenges our ability to restrict social identity” and so “becomes an instructive narrative model of how we can begin to imagine community anew” (27). Rebecca L. Walkowitz, in Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation (2006), similarly maintains that “the modernist strategies of cosmopolitan writing have served to test and expand the critical methods of international thinking” (27).

B. Yeats, and J. M. Coetzee, in Cosmopolitan Criticism and Postcolonial Literature (2011), in which he argues that the “best products of postcolonial writing” embark on a project of “exploring and even instilling the cosmopolitan forms of relationship that would be required to create and legitimise a global society that has left imperialism behind” (3–4). Like Kant, these scholars find in the sympathetic imagination the power to “recast” the world (Schoene 186). The seeds of a practicable cosmopolitanism are planted in the reading of an exclusively defined cosmopolitan literature.

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