Ambivalence of Cosmopolitanism: A Study of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Writing


  • Tingxuan Liu Huaiyin Institute of Technology



Cosmopolitanism, Kazuo Ishiguro, ambivalence, culture


Although labeled as an immigrant writer, Ishiguro is not a typical one. His writing is not a repetition or successor of the diasporic literature. The various subjects and diversified locations of his works have been appropriately corresponded to his claim as “a kind of homeless writer”. He has always been locating himself in different cultures as well as engaged in a de-cultural writing, providing insights into the relationship between the subjective and the other, which shows his ambivalence dangling between different cultures. It is arguable that Ishiguro has several “deaths” before becoming a cosmopolitan. Nevertheless, the “killed” identity is inextirpable. The longing for subjectivity in his novels does not directly come from the cosmopolitan identity with whom he identified. Reading Ishiguro in the global context enables the detection of his compromise as a cosmopolitan writer constructed by a deliberate de-privileging and cultural alienation. Cosmopolitanism itself has been a paradoxical term in that its orientation points to the mutually inclusive “world” and “region”. Its implication is full of irreconcilable resistance and negotiation. The study is going to explore the ambivalence of cosmopolitanism in Ishiguro’s writing, to trace the progress of the making of the novelist as a cosmopolitan as well as embracing multiple cultures but denies clear boundaries, and to widen the scope of the discussion of globalization, localization, diasporic study, or postcolonial study.

Author Biography

Tingxuan Liu, Huaiyin Institute of Technology

Faculty of Foreign Languages


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