‘Cultural Representations : Strange or Stranger ? Displaced Identities in V.S. Naipaul’ Représentations'

Madhu Benoit 1
CEMRA - Centre d'Etudes sur les modes de la représentation anglophone - EA 3016
Abstract : Naipaul, through a quirk in history, is a stranger, if not a foreigner, in his native Trinidad, as he is a third generation immigrant from India. Thus it is difficult in Naipaul’s case to define that ‘elsewhere’ which is ‘home’. As the word ‘home’ is inevitable linked with identity, it is commonplace to remark that the Nobel laureate’s work often centres on what has frequently been called an ‘identity quest’. Identity is constructed on an individual basis, but within a given social structure, the alienation of which could lead to a corresponding alienation of identity. Thus it follows that a displaced identity equals alienation – a favourite Naipaul theme. Does displacement of identity mean dislocation of identity for the Trinidadian writer? Or does alienation automatically follow geographical dislocation? This paper examines Naipaul’s own cultural dislocation, and then looks at dislocation of identity in his book, In a Free State.
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Madhu Benoit. ‘Cultural Representations : Strange or Stranger ? Displaced Identities in V.S. Naipaul’ Représentations'. Représentations, revue électronique du CEMRA, Cemra Grenoble 3, 2007, juin. ⟨hal-02009436⟩



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