Interrogating Cosmopolitanism and The Stranger in Tendai Huchu’s The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician (2015)




cosmopolitanism, rhythm, cosmopolitan, stranger, urban space, community


This article analyses Tendai Huchu’s novel The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician (2015) in the light of cosmopolitan theory, drawing from Ulrich Beck’s conceptualisation of the cosmopolitan society and Vince Marotta’s notion of the figure of the cosmopolitan stranger. Urban space theory and Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis is also discussed. This work focuses on the main characters in the novel in order to question the validity of some of the characteristics attributed to the cosmopolitan stranger, principally their ability to transcend standpoint epistemologies. It addresses the characters’ common struggle to re-evaluate their identity in the new neoliberal capitalist context of Edinburgh in which they find themselves, as well as their search for belonging in the new community and the creation of a new home. The article also explores the potential of walking the city as a mechanism to reconcile identity conflicts and respond to the anxiety that the city generates —connecting internal time, memories and the body with external time and space— and contrasts it with the experience of running. It is contended that the novel resists the imposition of a definite meaning, portraying the cosmopolitan strangers as nuanced individuals, while also exploring the possibility of failure of the cosmopolitan stranger.


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ARTICLES: Literature, film and cultural studies