This essay deploys “relational comparison” to address the ways in which texts from different parts of the world are related to each other through their partaking and representation of world historical events. It constructs an arc of literary texts that are not distinguished by their presumed canonicity, whether Eurocentric or otherwise, but by their worldliness. It turns to the global decolonial moment of the 1960s to read that world historical event as a world literary event. By framing the racial, national, and imperial formations that resonate out from Bandung and China, the essay seeks to offer a more nuanced interpretation of the global sixties from those perspectives situated south — whether in terms of actual or symbolic geographies — of the so-called Global South. In doing so, it connects Paris, Bandung, and Beijing to Saigon, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Surabaya.

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