Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul by I. Coovadia

By I. Coovadia

This e-book lines the ways that difficulties of creative authority and authorship constitution the fiction and non-fiction of V.S. Naipaul and resonate in postcolonial literature. Imraan Coovadia argues that the post-colonial societies Naipaul reviews in novels such as A Bend within the River and Guerillas are outlined by way of the fragility in their authority. Coovadia demonstrates via shut analyzing, how Naipaul, born in Trinidad to an Indian kinfolk and resident of the United Kingdom, asserts his imaginative authority over many alternative occasions around the globe via a posh literary rhetoric.

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At the bottom is printed the revised Virgilian motto which, by force of misquotation, confers classical prestige on what is publicized as benevolent British rule. In revising Virgil, Abercromby meant to reassure Spanish settlers on the islands of the good faith of their new British rulers. They could live and trade freely under international British power, which, like romanitas, respected the “peoples” that fell under its authority. Their common god might be Christian rather than pagan, but, in any event, Christian readings of Virgil were commonplace; and the Roman past was a common inheritance of both European groups.

S. com - licensed to Fu Jen Catholic University - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-04 Authority and Misquotation in A Bend in the River 38 ● Authority and Authorship in V. S. Naipaul Scorned by which tribute the Ciconian dames, Amid their awful Bacchanalian rites And midnight revellings, tore him limb from limb, And strewed his fragments over the wide fields. (Georgics, bk. xx) In Georgics Virgil associates mob violence and dismemberment with the fate of the classical world’s representative poet. Virgil’s verse is an early point in a tradition of identifying the ungovernable mob as the adversary of the literary artist and dismemberment as his characteristic end.

S. Naipaul political authority in the country and countryside around the town—seem entirely unmotivated. 25 Raymond observes that “the most difficult thing in prose narrative is linking one thing with the other. The link might be just a sentence, or even a word. It sums up what has gone before and prepares one for what is to come” (136). This emphasis on “linking one thing with the other” affirms that the novel is not organized by a narrative, which has a large-scale shape and a sense of motion greater than can be provided sentence by sentence.

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