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End of empire and the English novel
Bill Schwarz

, with decolonisation his urgent concern, they ‘didn’t interest me very much’. He was drawn instead to the French: to Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus. It was they, he argues, who enabled him to bring together politics and letters and who, more particularly, understood the historical significance of the ending of the epoch of the European colonial powers.15 This sense of the parochialism of England is about all that Lamming has ever shared with V.S. Naipaul, who came to believe that his arrival at Oxford University in 1950, due to ill

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Abigail Ward

which Dabydeen uses creole language, tracing its potential for decolonisation or subversion. The focus for Macedo and Karran’s book is on the multiple ‘points of connection’ in Dabydeen’s work, specifically exploring how he – and by extension his writing – may be thought of as being located between multiple identifications. 12 Essays range from an examination of masculinity and creole in Slave Song to his intertextual relationship with V. S. Naipaul, and three are concerned with his long poem ‘Turner’. Aleid Fokkema reads the poem in

in Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar
Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

characters who are, nevertheless, adherents of a belief system founded on the notion of good and evil as absolute antitheses. The achievement of Mistry, and those other recent Parsi writers, is, in part, to have kept alive a critical dialogue between the formative myths of their culture and the requirements of an on-going history. Of course, the Persian legacy constitutes only one part of Mistry’s multiple literary inheritance. The author has cited among his favourites such luminaries as V. S. Naipaul, Ivan Turgenev, Vladimir Nabokov, Muriel Spark and Albert Camus.40 To

in Rohinton Mistry
Travel fiction and travelling fiction from D.H. Lawrence to Tim Parks
Suzanne Hobson

their work from the Englishness they associated with British modernism and Bloomsbury in particular or, decoupling Englishness from national and ethnic identity, from the kind of American identity which in novels by Henry James is often synonymous with the gentleman expatriate. In this context, Lawrence’s travel writings are often ignored or, when emphasised, tend to focus on his anxieties over his relationship to his metropolitan and cosmopolitan peers. To V.S. Naipaul, Lawrence belongs squarely with the elite group of white, male writers who made travel writing an

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Andrew Teverson

-theorised in discursive accounts of post-colonial diasporic identities. He is a near relative of the psychologically traumatised ‘native intellectual’ in Frantz Fanon’s writings, who has internalised the racism of a dominant white culture to such a degree that he attempts a ‘hallucinatory whitening’. 2 In this role he is also a descendant of earlier fictional avatars of the compliant migrant, such as the ‘mimic men’ of V. S. Naipaul’s 1967 novel of that name who ‘become what [they] see of [themselves] in the eyes of others’, or Harris in Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely

in Salman Rushdie
Abstract only
John Thieme

sprawling metropolis. However, this apparent contrast is an illusion. Both places are heterogeneous. Chandran’s decision that his loss of ‘home’ makes him a sanyasi is, of course, unusual. As with the protagonist of V.S. Naipaul’s The Mimic Men (1967),44 his espousal of the role of an elderly mendicant, who has renounced active life is out of keeping with the progression expected in the varnashramadharma. As Shirley Chew points out,45 the admonition of the barber who shaves his head, ‘“Master, at your age!”’ (BA 171) highlights the incongruity of his donning this role at

in R.K. Narayan
William Trevor and postcolonial London
C.L. Innes

immigrants: MacInnes spent his childhood in Australia; Trevor was born in County Cork and educated in Dublin before emigrating to England in 1954. This essay discusses Trevor’s representation of ‘postcolonial London’ in two early novels, The Boarding House (1965) and Miss Gomez and the Brethren (1971). Accommodation is the theme and metaphor central to both works, that is, accommodation in the literal sense of a place to live, but also in the sense of adaptation to the ways in which others live, or indeed to a particular vision of life.4 Like V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming

in William Trevor
De-scribing Imperial identity from alien to migrant
Peter Childs

Indian descent V. S. Naipaul. Naipaul’s displaced individuals epitomise the highpoint of Indian homelessness in the face of English modes of identity. Homi Bhabha even talks of his forays into theory beginning at the moment he realised that the metaphor of the home in the West, both in terms of belonging and of the ‘house of fiction’, would not accommodate his reading of diaspora and homelessness in Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas (1961): ‘here you had a novel where the realism, if you like, was unable to contain the anguish of displacement and movement as poor Mr

in Across the margins
Abigail Ward

-century black writers in Britain largely failed to depict his reality of growing up in an urban British environment: ‘Lamming’s fiction, like V. S. Naipaul’s, tended to be rooted in an exotic geography I didn’t recognize. Black Americans wrote about an urban experience I understood, and they were angry.’ 38 For Phillips, an important exception was Sam Selvon’s novel The Lonely Londoners , in which he found a sense of being both inside and outside Britain at the same time. The literature was shot through with the uncomfortable anxieties of belonging

in Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar
John Thieme

a supple medium that never attempts the regionally specific registers of Nissim Ezekiel’s ‘Very Indian Poems in Indian English’,16 not the later verbal pyrotechnics of a Salman Rushdie. However, while English was the language in which Narayan felt most at home as a writer, using it had implications for his choice of subject-matter and his notions of audience. V.S. Naipaul’s view that he wrote ‘in English for publication abroad’17 is mistaken if taken to mean that he wrote exclusively for an overseas readership, but initially Narayan did look to England. Thanks to

in R.K. Narayan