Demonizing Africa: A Bend in the River and Naipaul’s Comprador Intellectuality

Authors

  • Muhammad Afzal Faheem Institutional Affiliation: The University of Lahore, Pakistan
  • Nausheen Ishaque Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47067/ramss.v4i2.161

Keywords:

Representation, Orientalist, Essentialist, Demonize, Comprador Intellectual

Abstract

This paper establishes V.S. Naipaul’s position as a comprador intellectual for his essentialist representation of Africa in A Bend in the River. The position (of comprador intellectual) has been ascribed by Hamid Dabashi to the array of highly feted non-Western writers who justify the Western orientalist (mis)appropriation of the East. The unrelenting orientalist bashing of the imperialized world (Africa in this case) legitimizes the civilizational responsibility of the West to mend the situation of the supposedly inferior Africans. The violent colonial intervention to provide order and stability to the place shows Naipaul’s orientalist world view regarding the colonized Africans. The alleged, all-pervading darkness of Africans can thus be illuminated by the White colonizer’s masterful exercise of power. Naipaul, as an author, functions as a comprador intellectual who appears serving the colonial commercial interest. The West needs to destroy all the cultures that may be potential sites of resistance, so, Naipaul offers a systematic denigration of African culture to sabotage the potential culture of resistance. The narrative of African demonization justifies the colonial machinery and its exercise of violence against the natives. The paper, therefore, calls into question Naipaul’s role as a cultural intermediary, since his 'point of enunciation' (a concept given by Stuart Hall) seems to be resting on an overtly colonial trajectory of the West.

References

Ali, A. B. (2013). “Without him life loomed like a void”—Romance, agency and the play of imagination in Qaisra Shahraz’s The Holy Woman. Center for the Study of Pakistan Seminar Programme. Retrieved from http://www.soas.ac.uk/csp/events/ seminars/07mar2013-without-him-life-loomed-like-a-void– romance-agency-and-the-play-of-imagination-in-qaisra-.html.

Dabashi, Hamid. Brown skin, white masks. Pluto Pr, 2011.

Hall, Stuart. "Cultural identity and diaspora." Diaspora and visual culture. Routledge, 2014. 35-47.

Ishaque, Nausheen. “Violence Ritualized: The Chemistry of Tradition and Religion in Qaisra Shahraz’s The Holy Woman”. SAGE Open. January-March (2017): 1-8.

Mustafa, Fawzia. "Gurnah and Naipaul: intersections of Paradise and A Bend in the River." Twentieth-Century Literature 61.2 (2015): 232-263.

Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad. A Bend in the River. Pan Macmillan, 2002.

Raja, Masood. "Reading the Postcolony in the Center: VS Naipaul's A Bend in the River." South Asian Review 26.1 (2005): 224-239.

Said, Edward W. Culture and imperialism. Vintage, 2012.

Samantrai, Ranu. "Claiming the Burden: Naipaul's Africa." Research in African Literatures 31.1 (2000): 50-62.

Singh, Bijender. “Representation of postcolonial identity in Naipauls works.”International Journal of English and Literature 4.10 (2013): 451-455.

Walunywa, Joseph. "The" Non-Native Native" in VS Naipaul's A Bend in the River." Postcolonial Text 4.2 (2008).

Downloads

Published

2021-06-26

How to Cite

Faheem, M. A. ., & Ishaque, N. . (2021). Demonizing Africa: A Bend in the River and Naipaul’s Comprador Intellectuality. Review of Applied Management and Social Sciences, 4(2), 595-604. https://doi.org/10.47067/ramss.v4i2.161