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The Sum of No Equation


Sabine Freyling

Starting with the social and psychological side of the person Naipaul, one can summarise some reasonably simple discoveries that can be extracted from both his autobiographical pieces and his seemingly fictional books, published within a period of more than fifty years. Naipaul suggested that the way to approach the author is not through finding out as much as possible about the man and one could easily argue that the idea shall simply be used in conversion. One can learn more about the person when taking into account all that has been produced by the author, who is part of the person. By this means, one can extract valuable information about both person and author and thus can easily uncover some mysteries that have been established by the author/person to conceal the reality behind a fixed idea that has always played a significant role in Naipaul’s life. Having studied English, Naipaul was aware of all the tools available and of the aims of literary critics and seems to have challenged these established routes for his own sake and to serve his purpose.
Contents: Arguing against Literary Criticism – Speaking of «Home» – Trinidad as Subject – The Motif India – Early Indian Pieces – Alterations in Indian Travel Narratives – The Writer to be – Father’s Influence – Colonial Criticism – Our Universal Civilization – What’s Wrong with Being a Snob? - or: The Human Liberal at Stake – Authorial Development – The Author’s «Discoveries» – An Unlikely Colonial.