A Complicated Occidentalism: Colonial Desire and Disappointment in V. S. Naipaul Cover Image
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Един сложен Оксидентализъм: Колониално желание и разочарование у В. С. Найпол
A Complicated Occidentalism: Colonial Desire and Disappointment in V. S. Naipaul

Author(s): Leela Gandhi
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN

Summary/Abstract: In recent years the question of V. S. Naipaul’s relationship to England has begun to complicate his hitherto negative reception within the postcolonial academy. While, in the 1980’s, a generation of colonial discourse analysis-inspired critics were able to condemn him unequivocally as an apologist for empire, a new recuperation reveals Sir Vidia as a casualty of imperialism; a man more victim than collaborator. Something of this, albeit still incipient, shift in attitude belongs to the changing nature of postcolonial critique itself. If, following the example of Edward Said’s Orientalism, the ‘80’s were preoccupied with imperial constructions or representations of the non-West, a new tendency seeks a reversal of the imperial gaze, asking what colonised cultures and their travelling/writing figures made of England and empire when they arrived as emigrants, expatriates, travellers, in the ‘mother country’. Each of these perspectives, as we will see, offers a variant, if not opposing, assessment of Naipaul and his oeuvre.

  • Issue Year: 2005
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 91-104
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Bulgarian