Transcend or Descend

Once, nationality was something that an ambitious writer hoped to transcend. A novelist aspired to recognition not as a New Zealand writer or a Nigerian writer but as, simply, a writer. Now nationality is transcended downward. Recognition comes from having one's work identified with a marginalized or "endangered" community within the larger national or global polity—with Ibo culture (rather than Nigerian), or Maori (rather than New Zealand).

(Louis Menand, "All That Glitters: Literature's global economy", in The New Yorker, 26 December 2005 and 2 January 2006).