The Enigma Of V. S. Naipaul

Overview

"Examining Naipaul's major novels, travel writing and autobiographical work, Helen Hayward traces a pattern of themes and concerns which throw new light on the relationship between the life and work of Naipaul, as well as the creative process itself. She examines key Naipaulian concepts such as cultural alienation, detachment and anxiety, relating them to the narrative of the author's life." What emerges is the portrait of a writer whose whole life has been characterized by a profound distaste for facile judgements on politics, history, art and
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Overview

"Examining Naipaul's major novels, travel writing and autobiographical work, Helen Hayward traces a pattern of themes and concerns which throw new light on the relationship between the life and work of Naipaul, as well as the creative process itself. She examines key Naipaulian concepts such as cultural alienation, detachment and anxiety, relating them to the narrative of the author's life." What emerges is the portrait of a writer whose whole life has been characterized by a profound distaste for facile judgements on politics, history, art and religion, an artist, who like Swift, is often most witty when most depressed and most ironic when most sympathetic. Born into and raised in a colonial world, he is regarded by many as one of the most trenchant critics of the corruption, greed and brutality of the post-colonial world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The essays are approachable, thoughtful, balanced, and informative.Recommended."—E.M. Huergo, Choice
Library Journal
Born and raised in Trinidad, the Nobel prize-winning Naipaul moved to England to attend college and has resided there most of his life. He occupies a special niche in the literary world, one that has become more prominent in the 20th century: that of the outsider, the multiethnic, and the world traveler. Hayward (University Coll., London) draws on Naipaul's enormous body of published work-novels, short stories, journalism, television and radio work, and literary criticism-as well as his unpublished papers. Naipaul is an "enigma," Hayward contends, a writer whose life has made him the constant observer, and he is ultimately an unpredictable, ironic, and passionate artist. Although Hayward's own prose style does not flow as gracefully as her subject's, this is a compact and thorough study of a writer for whom the term "multifaceted" could have been invented. Hayward's reliance on Naipaul's own words rather than on literary theories thoroughly grounds the book in Naipaul's very complex world. For literary collections.-Shelley Cox, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Helen Hayward is in the English Department at University College, London.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Chronology
Introduction 1
1 Sons and brothers: family and textual relations in Naipaul's early Trinidadian fiction 6
2 The Enigma of Arrival: autobiography and revision 39
3 History and repetition in A Way in the World and The Loss of El Dorado 75
4 Naipaul's changing representation of India: autobiographical and literary backgrounds 111
5 Fact and fiction in Guerrilas 143
6 Images of Africa and Europe in A Bend in the River 172
Conclusion 201
Bibliography 204
Index 219
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