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Title: V.S. Naipaul, Caribbean writing, and Caribbean thought in the postcolonial era, 1960-1995
Author: Ghosh, William Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 3537
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the position of V.S. Naipaul within the intellectual history of the postcolonial Caribbean. First, it argues that throughout his career Naipaul's work has been shaped by the influence, and discursive provocation, of other Caribbean intellectuals. Secondly, it argues that the writings of these other Caribbean intellectuals emerged as part of a dialogue with the oeuvre of V.S. Naipaul. Reading Naipaul in dialogue with his Caribbean intertexts not only provides a new lens for understanding Naipaul's work, but also provides new insights into the work of writers such as C.L.R. James, George Lamming, Kamau Brathwaite, Sylvia Wynter, Maryse Condé, and David Scott. The (roughly) three decades following constitutional independence in the major Anglophone Caribbean territories were a time of political upheaval and literary innovation, in which the state of the region was being described, and the futures of its communities imagined, across a range of written forms and using different scholarly methodologies. Within this intellectual culture, stylistic, generic, and formal choices were invested with great polemical significance. This thesis is structured in three chapters, examining the significance of Naipaul's work within three formal traditions: the novel and theories of the novel, historical writing and historiographical theory, and travel writing. Across these three forms, I trace a developing preoccupation with the social history of colonialism in the Caribbean and its impact on the intellectual and imaginative horizons of postcolonial Caribbean thinkers. Further, I show how in this period Caribbean writers tried to articulate the specificity of Caribbean colonial experience in contrast to the colonial experiences of other parts of the world (especially Africa). Throughout, I aim to show that attention to the literary history of the Caribbean, to the evolution of stylistic and formal thought and innovation, is essential to understanding the broader intellectual history of the region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Amelia Jackson Studentship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available