[Caribbean Literature]

Conclusion and References

Part Seven of The Double and the Center

David P. Lichtenstein '99, Brown University, Contributing Editor, Caribbean Web


Thus we have seen, in works by V.S. Naipaul and Caryl Phillips, the challenge of the Postcolonial writer. One must reconcile the dual legacies of colony and empire, the difficulties involved in carving out a new tradition from the remnants of a history that was written by the victors and not the vanquished. Thus many writers use doubling to represent the division in their vision and their heritage. On the other hand, to buy into the divisive power of such categories as colonizer vs. colonized, center vs. margin, would limit the potential standing of such writers as Naipaul and Phillips -- would allow them only to speak on behalf of the margin, not to enter the center themselves. And so they have begun to deconstruct these categories in order to set out new, boundary-less paradigms to replace the old or obsolete standards that colonialism has bequeathed.


Naipaul, V.S. The Enigma of Arrival. London: Penguin Books, 1987.

Phillips, Caryl. Cambridge. New York: Vintage International, 1991.

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