This study explores the theme of exile in the literary career of V.S. Naipaul, approaching the subject from two perspectives: as an idea that recurs in Naipaul's writings and as a personal experience that has shaped his vision of the world. Informed by the theoretical insights of Mikhail Bakhtin and Tzvetan Todorov, ""On the Margins"" offers readings of Naipaul's major works, from ""Miguel Street"" (1959) to ""India: A Million Mutinies Now"" (1990). Timothy F. Weiss reads Naipaul critically yet empathetically, examining his writings in chronological order and situating them in the cultural contexts in and about which Naipaul wrote. Weiss tries to show how the experience of exile, though alienating and divisive for Naipaul, has also been a transformative source of creative power. By turning his exile into art, the author explains, Naipaul the colonial Trinidad Indian has been able to reconcile the disparate elements of his hybrid identity and to connect his stories with a broader colonial and postcolonial history. In Weiss' view, what distinguishes Naipaul's often controversial works is the author's continuing struggle to look back and remember the past while moving forward toward a new identity and a new vision of society. At their best, Weiss argues, Naipaul's works face in two directions: they are at once ""commemorative and contemporary.
On the Margins
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