The Cosmopolitan Voice: Blockbusters and Hits in the Contemporary World
This paper is concerned to examine the question of the idiomatic in the contemporary cosmopolitan world. In accepting cosmopolitanism as the increased traffic in all things across previously more firm borders, the key to that traffic has been the translation of value within those interactions. The idiomatic, however, is precisely that which is untranslatable or, as Derrida held, singular, proper, inimitable. More particularly, idiom is used here not as a way of fixing meaning within a changing culture but as something which relays meaning within a group of users. In this sense, then, idiom can be considered, for the examiner, as the evidence of the existence, past or present, of a culture rather than an utterance of that culture. This difference forces a shift of address in the cultural critic. Examples for this examination will be drawn from the circulation of twenty and twenty-first century mass entertainments, particularly film and music and their interlocked institutions. It is anticipated that the benefit of construing idiom in this way and applying that understanding to the global circulation of entertainment will be to assist in picturing the historical utility of popular entertainments in the contemporary world.
Sites of Cosmopolitanism : Citizenship, Aesthetics, Culture
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