Rootless experiences : the importance of spatial understanding in the writing of V.S. Naipaul
This thesis examines the works of V.S. Naipaul (1932--), a Trinidad born writer who has been settled in England since 1950. Naipaul is dislocated both from his ancestral motherland of India and from his home, Trinidad. Because of this doubly uprooted condition, the idea of rootlessness is essential to discussion of the author. This theme of rootlessness is one of the main subjects in my argument. In pursuing my argument, I will be particularly attentive to issues of space, which has inspired burgeoning interest and debate since the late 1960s in the humanities and social sciences.;The first three chapters deal with Naipaul's fictional narratives, examining his differing treatments of the settings of Trinidad, metropolitan cities, and the former colonies. The fourth chapter will discuss Naipaul's two narratives about Trinidad's history, which reveal his skilful manoeuvring of spatial concepts for the benefit of the West Indies or Trinidad Indians. The fifth chapter will discuss Naipaul's narrative in his travelogues and his accounts of his travel. Naipaul's travelogues cover locations worldwide. However, because of his particular way of looking, his travelogues show some recurrence of observation and themes. Consequently, there emerges a geographical pattern in his presentation of the world. The sixth chapter will pay attention to the autobiographical aspects of Naipaul's writing. It will discuss the relationship between Naipaul's works and his own movements as a rootless writer. Overall, the argument reveals Naipaul's ambiguity as due to being caught in the tension between the dichotomic view of the world created by the ideology of imperialism and the counter disposition of hybridity fostered by his own rootless experience.