The Urge to Nowhere: Wicomb and Cosmopolitanism

Abdulrazak Gurnah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay tackles an important subject – cosmopolitanism – and relates this to travel and provincialism in Wicomb's fiction, drawing on Fanon, Bhabha and Gilroy, and discussing three of Wicomb's major works. It draws a link between place and memory, and how in Wicomb's work the latter is obscured by shame. It detects a productive tension in Wicomb's writing between the value of travel and the value of rootedness in one place, and proposes its resolution in the privileging of ambivalent moments of experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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