The place of literature in the postnational era

  • Alfredo Saldaña University of Zaragoza
Keywords: universal literature, theory of literature, postnationalism


In the current postnational era, literature has not failed to reflect dialectical tensions between the universal and the local, the self and the other. In the representation of these tensions the concept of the nation has often played a relevant role while also undergoing continual periods of crisis. Labelled by some as “The End of History”, the postmodern condition (Lyotard) is for many nothing but a signal of a post-historical, post-ideological, post-colonial and post-metaphysical era, a sign of loss, a symptom of a new political order that Habermas and Hardt-Negri have termed, respectively, “postnational constellation” and “empire”. It constitutes an unprecedented global version of sovereignty and domination that differs from modernity’s colonial imperialism in lacking a localized centre or clearly defined territorial boundaries. In this (inter/post)national scenario literature has recovered much of the freedom that it had been deprived of by nationalist tendencies in the past.


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How to Cite
Saldaña, A. (2017). The place of literature in the postnational era. Verba Hispanica, 25(1), 285-308.