If the postcolonial text is, generally, as Homi Bhabha observes, a hybrid text then the migrant text is that "hybridity writ large". For multifarious reasons, writers from a variety of ex-colonised nations have partaken in the late twentieth century condition of migrancy. Drawing on Fanon's and Homi Bhabha's critical views, my paper will be dealing with V.S.Naipaul as an old figure out of postcolonial literature. An East Indian by birth, third world in cultural concern, cosmopolitan in almost every other way, his pose becomes central to any discussion of the duality of postcolonial identity. Infatuated with western culture which heaped on him a bunch of literary awards and a knighthood, and contemptuous of ex-colonised societies, Naipaul has polarised critical reactions more than any other living writer. Though most of his novels and travel writings are devoted to a minute dissection of the cultural paralysis and the hypocrisies of the once-colonised nations, they bear symptoms of a willed alienation. Compared with other postcolonial writers whose incisive criticism is sterile and comes from contempt. His essentializing and dehistorising discourse on Africa is a nihilistic discourse that contributes to the fetishization of the African self.
Last modified: 7 May 2001