The Local-Global Novel

Chloe Manchester Hill


There are certain events, John Tomlinson (1999) argues, such as the fallout in Chernobyl, the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the communist world, the creation of the European Union, global summits on climate change, wars in Beirut, the Gulf, Somalia, or Bosnia, that “may add to the extension of the individual’s ‘phenomenal world’”. Such is the case for the characters in Michel Laub’s trilogy of novels: Diário da queda (2011), A maçã envenenada (2013), and O tribunal da quinta-feira (2016). In these novels, global catastrophes (the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and the A.I.D.S epidemic) are juxtaposed, both formally and narratively, with the personal tragedies suffered by their protagonists, thus creating an analogous relationship with the local/global dialectic. This paper studies Laub’s trilogy as global novels, seeking to subvert the market term by adding the “local” modifier, in an attempt to understand the nature of world literature in the twenty-first century. The Local-Global Novel, of the kind produced by Laub, complicates Anderson’s (1983) notion of nations as imagined communities by adopting the world as a community in which individuals, and their narratives, can be seen as singular-plural (NANCY, 1996).


Literatura Mundial; o Romance Global; Ficção no Século XXI

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