Toni Morrison, V. S. Naipaul, and Ben Okri
Chapter Five - Conclusion 141
Chapter Five Conclusion [T]hrough th[e] recovery of the capacity of language to create and re-create, we discover reality itself in the process of being created. So we are connected with this dimension of reality which is itself unfinished, which is […] the potentiality to see things in terms of potentialities and not in terms of actualities (Paul Ricoeur, ‘Poetry and Possibility’, p.462). In concluding this book on the comparative study of fiction and history in the works of three contemporary writers – Toni Morrison, V.S. Naipaul and Ben Okri – I would like to explore a bit further the specific narrative strategies they have designed to combat historical negation, absence and incompleteness for African-American, Indo- Trinidadian, and Nigerian people and community. In their works of fiction, Morrison, Naipaul and Okri revisit and render particular phases and experiences in human history. That is, Morrison gives voice to the unspoken aspect in the interior life of African-American slaves and ex-slaves, Naipaul deals with the unwritten experience in the diasporic world of East Indian Trinidadians, and Okri lays emphasis on reinvigorating and reassessing the mythic structure of African aesthetics and worldviews in a postcolonial and post-inde- pendent milieu. In light of Aristotle’s perception that history expresses the particular and poetry the universal, Morrison, Naipaul and Okri have raised universal human issues by probing and re-creating particular segments of history in their novels. Morrison, Naipaul and Okri have also commented on the word ‘universal’ in one way or another on different occasions. For Morrison, the...
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