‘Global’ Identity or the (Ir)Reducible Other: The Cultural Logic of Global Identity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Man with the Twisted Lip Cover Image
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‘Global’ Identity or the (Ir)Reducible Other: The Cultural Logic of Global Identity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Man with the Twisted Lip
‘Global’ Identity or the (Ir)Reducible Other: The Cultural Logic of Global Identity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Man with the Twisted Lip

Author(s): Jin Lee
Subject(s): Fiction, Social history, International relations/trade, Studies in violence and power, Sociology of Culture, 19th Century, Migration Studies, Globalization
Published by: Editura Universitatii LUCIAN BLAGA din Sibiu
Keywords: Global identity; global trade; refugee crisis; hospitality; globalization; space-of-flow; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Thomas De Quincey; opium trade;

Summary/Abstract: After the Syrian civil war, deaths of those fleeing crisis areas have tragically become a regular news item. Not new to the world, however, such crises emerge from tensions between identity and difference as codified in international politics, whereby refugees and migrants become the Other and subject to unyielding universals, such as the law or narrow concepts of what is right. Indeed, the cultural logic of “global identities” informing the current refugee and migrant crisis seems recurrent, as exemplified in the recent cases of the Tamils from Sri Lanka and the Somalis. The cultural logic of global identity is also reflected in the popular nineteenth-century novella by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Man with the Twisted Lip, in which the main character disguises himself as a professional beggar to appeal to middle class values in order to incite their guilty consciences. Drawing on Ian Baucom, Marc Shell, and Jean-Joseph Goux, this article argues that the main character’s actions reflect and embody the cultural logic of the global politico-economy in late nineteenth century London. As such, Doyle’s novella illustrates the Derridean notion of hospitality by revealing that “identity and difference are mutually constitutive” (Baker 109) and offers insightful commentary on the current refugee and migrant crisis.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 27
  • Page Range: 117-137
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: English