Dagmar Barnouw's Naipaul's Strangers PDF

By Dagmar Barnouw

ISBN-10: 0253109752

ISBN-13: 9780253109750

ISBN-10: 025321579X

ISBN-13: 9780253215796

ISBN-10: 0253342074

ISBN-13: 9780253342072

From his reporting on Islamic real believers to his descriptions of the postcolonial international, V. S. Naipaul has been a arguable determine in modern letters. Winner of the Nobel Prize, Naipaul has traveled through the international, taking a look at its diverse cultures and searching out others' tales, recording and remodeling them. His engagement with postcolonial cultures informs his novels, comparable to Guerrillas and A Bend within the River. even if, it really is his documentaries (such as one of the Believers and past trust) and his works that mix genuine and fictional histories and thoughts (Finding the heart, The Enigma of Arrival, and A approach on the planet) that top express a growing to be know-how of the complexities of cultural distinction -- and the incompleteness and uncertainty of realizing "strangers." during this booklet, Dagmar Barnouw explores the subtle innovations and experimentations that Naipaul employs in his cultural critique and in his firm of studying approximately and documenting the iconic strangeness of this international.

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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 during the global, its various cultures and searching out others' tales, recording and remodeling them.

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Even more saddened now by their regress, he points to the cultural chaos in these areas: the lack of instiUnderstanding Strangers 11 tutions and of deference to the law, to the public good, and to human rights. 63 But “pessimism” is only one ingredient of Naipaul’s critical perspective, and it has changed with his experience, over time and in different places: the probing re®ections on observational perspective in The Enigma of Arrival (1987); the hopeful documentation of promising developments in India: A Million Mutinies Now; the melancholic exploration of lostness and delusion in A Way in the World; and the narrator’s retreating behind other voices in Beyond Belief.

The celebrated simplicity and authenticity of “the native,” before abstract concepts, reading and writing, not to speak of modern technology, is just one more variation on Rousseau’s critique of the new complexities of eighteenthcentury cultural modernity. But the enfant terrible of the European Enlightenment, embraced by generous intellectuals like Diderot and Hume for his intriguing contrariness, never deliberately misrepresented, much less slandered the position of other writers: arguing against them, he was very much interested in their ideas.

S. in 1975. A quarter-century later, Naipaul’s publisher, Knopf, now much more rigorously interested in large sales and therefore exquisitely attuned to the right kind of mythmaking, might not even have considered a book that punishes delusions so harshly. To the current Western intellectual preoccupation with guilt and cultural humility and the non-Western focus on victimization, Naipaul’s skeptical perspective has suggested rootless, coldly self-centered hubris. In the eyes of both Western and non-Western anti–former oppression activists it has amounted to treason.

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Naipaul's Strangers by Dagmar Barnouw


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