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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - V.S. Naipaul's and globalisation : research article

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Abstract

Naipaul's work has been described as an examination of "the clash between belief and unbelief, the unravelling of the British Empire, the migration of peoples" (Donadio, 2005). Controversial both in terms of his perceptions of postcolonial nations (Said, 1978) and of postcolonial literary criticism (King, 1993), Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, at an earlier point declared the novel dead and postcolonial nations half-baked. Despite his provocative pronouncements and his readers' criticisms (the most stringent and extensive critique by Nixon (1992)), Naipaul is too important to be marginalised. While major contemporaries have ceased to be productive (Walcott, Ondaatje, Soyinka) Naipaul's voice continues to be heard, his tones new, his perspective flexible enough to apprehend new phenomena in culture and politics, and his critique sufficiently disturbing to merit critical attention. Despite accusations of being a postcolonial lackey, a reactionary, a racist, and a misogynist, he has survived, and not only because of his elegant prose.


My purpose in this article is to explore his 21st century writing as a critical understanding of the postcolonial phenomenon of globalisation as a cultural and economic force which is a development and consequence of imperialism and decolonisation. I shall argue that as a phenomenon, globalisation differs from postcolonialism, in the interaction it brings about between marginalised classes and nations and those who by virtue of class, economic power or race are defined as being at the centre in the 21st century.


Naipaul se werk is al beskryf as 'n ondersoek na die botsing tussen geloof en ongeloof, die verbrokkeling van die Britse Ryk, die migrasie van volke (Donadio, 2005). Sy omstrede sienings van postkoloniale nasies (Said, 1978) en van die postkoloniale literatuurkritiek (King, 1993) vind onder meer neerslag in sy uitlating dat die roman dood en postkoloniale nasies halfgebak is. Ondanks sy uitdagende uitsprake en kritiek van lesers (veral die sterk en uitgebreide kritiek van Nixon (1992)) is Naipaul te belangrik om gemarginaliseer te word. In 'n tyd waarin sy belangrikste tydgenote (Walcott, Ondaatje, Soyinka) se produktiwiteit afgeneem het, laat Naipaul steeds sy stem hoor - sy klank is nuut en sy perspektiewe is soepel genoeg om nuwe verskynsels in die kultuurdomein en die politiek te omvat. Sy kritiek is ook ontstellend genoeg om groter kritiese aandag te verdien. Ten spyte van beskuldigings dat hy 'n postkoloniale lakei, 'n rassis, 'n vrouehater en 'n reaksionêr is, het hy oorleef - nie net danksy sy elegante prosa nie.
Die doel met hierdie artikel is om Naipaul se skryfwerk in die 21ste eeu te verken as 'n kritiese siening van die postkoloniale verskynsel van globalisering as 'n kulturele en ekonomiese krag wat 'n ontwikkeling en gevolg van imperialisme en de-kolonisering is. Daar word aangevoer dat globalisering as 'n verskynsel van postkolonialisme verskil vanweë die aard van die interaksie wat dit teweegbring tussen enersyds gemarginaliseerde klasse en nasies en andersyds diegene wat op grond van klas, ekonomiese mag of ras as die sentrum in die 21ste eeu bestempel is.

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/content/literat/28/1/EJC61954
2007-04-01
2016-12-08
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