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Travellers' Tales of WonderChatwin, Naipaul, Sebald$
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Simon Cooke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748675463

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748675463.001.0001

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V. S. Naipaul and the ‘gift of wonder’: The Enigma of Arrival (1987)

V. S. Naipaul and the ‘gift of wonder’: The Enigma of Arrival (1987)

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter 5 V. S. Naipaul and the ‘gift of wonder’: The Enigma of Arrival (1987)
Source:
Travellers' Tales of Wonder
Author(s):

Simon Cooke

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748675463.003.0006

This chapter argues that wonder plays a pivotal role in the work of V.S. Naipaul – a writer often celebrated, or castigated, as a writer of disenchantment. It explores The Enigma of Arrival in particular, with its semi-autobiographical account of a Caribbean settling in ‘unknown Wiltshire’, as a postcolonial reversal and revision of the approach taken in the European wonder voyages of the conquest of the New World, which brings into question the association of travel writing with empire and colonial vision.

Keywords:   Naipaul, Disenchantment, Wonder, Empire, Postcolonial, Renaissance

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