By Dagmar Barnouw
From his reporting on Islamic precise believers to his descriptions of the postcolonial international, V. S. Naipaul has been a debatable determine in modern letters. Winner of the Nobel Prize, Naipaul has traveled through the international, its diverse cultures and searching out others' tales, recording and reworking them. His engagement with postcolonial cultures informs his novels, similar to Guerrillas and A Bend within the River. even though, it's his documentaries (such as one of the Believers and past trust) and his works that mix genuine and fictional histories and stories (Finding the guts, The Enigma of Arrival, and A approach on this planet) that top show a transforming into information of the complexities of cultural distinction -- and the incompleteness and uncertainty of figuring out "strangers." during this ebook, Dagmar Barnouw explores the delicate concepts and experimentations that Naipaul employs in his cultural critique and in his company of studying approximately and documenting the iconic strangeness of this global.
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Additional info for Naipaul's Strangers
He is working hard, “not having it easy,” worrying about his responsibilities, feeling “ashamed”; everything will change when his book is accepted. Two months later a cable announces “novel accepted,” then months of silence while he is hectically working on the next book. 3 It is the familiar story of the talented individual’s assertion of his “calling”: the ¤rst book is published, others will follow; ¤nally there will be the Nobel Prize in literature. 4 At the end of his introduction, the editor of the letters ironically expressed his gratitude to Naipaul “for his understandably disengaged approval of the project.
To the poet and critic Robert Hass, Naipaul has been the “supreme writer of disenchantment,” a debunker of delusions: “He dislikes privileged people who are sentimental about primitivism in the Third World, and he dislikes the posturing of Third World people whose only tactic is to blame their oppressor, and he is pitiless towards the fantasies of the helpless, which is what people don’t like about him. S. The book’s more enlightened readers, Hass maintains, have all been troubled by its “racist,” “misogynist,” and “tremendously reactionary” aspects.
7 Naipaul’s approach is not as easily adaptable since he is looking at societies in the terms of their own difference, their own history—perhaps one of the reasons why he did not think it his business to tell others how to look at the world, much less to “celebrate” their own, and only their own, part of it. Walcott the poet thinks otherwise. The themes of his work are few and redundant: charged with the energies of renewal and rejuvenation, poetry is more powerful than history; nature is more powerfully real than culture; the oral mode is more authentic than the written word; and Trinidad is eternally writing its own poetry.