'East is West and West is East': Lewis Grassic Gibbon's quest for ultimate cosmopolitanism.

Lyall, Scott (2011) 'East is West and West is East': Lewis Grassic Gibbon's quest for ultimate cosmopolitanism. In: Scottish Literature and Postcolonial Literature. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 136-146. ISBN 9780748637744

[img] Microsoft Word
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (65kB) | Request a copy


This chapter addresses Lewis Grassic Gibbon's quest to shatter the colonial conception of East and West and return to an age of cosmopolitanism. His idealistic model of a cosmopolitan future is deeply informed by his reading of the past as adapted from diffusionism. The narrator of Gibbon's Egyptian work is a White Russian in exile from the Bolshevik Revolution. ‘Revolt’ concludes with ibn Saud's refusal of the stereotype of violent native. Finding Clare Caldon's lost and vulnerable young daughter in the bazaar, with whom he shares a feeling of instinctual affiliation, and being told of Hassan's death, he calls off the nationalist revolt. Gibbon's cosmopolitanism, the national ‘synthesis’ envisioned at the end of The Lost Trumpet, is utopian, but it is also a necessary quest to escape provincialism and imagine a new anti-imperial universalism that is ultimately postcolonial.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 9780748637744
Uncontrolled Keywords: "Lewis Grassic Gibbon"; East; West; cosmopolitanism; nationalism; provincialism; post-colonialism;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Edinburgh Napier University, Institute for Creative Industries
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 800 Literature > 800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
Library of Congress Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Item ID: 5238
Depositing User: Dr Scott Lyall
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2012 14:07
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 15:40

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373