The present paper examines Naipaul’s representation of postcolonial border crossings in his thinly disguised literary autobiography, The Enigma of Arrival. The analysis focuses on the dynamics of cultural dislocation and relocation, on the exchanges and reversals at work in the process of the migrant’s appropriation of the centre, which Naipaul figures as a symbolic colonization in reverse, through which the cultural disseminations of the Empire return to their point of departure, to the now hybridized centre of a multicultural society. The key aspects of these intercultural renegotiations bridging the centre and the margin concern the redefinition of inherited concepts of difference, the blurring of boundaries, the sense of a shared historical experience and cultural tradition, and the dissolution of binary oppositions involved in the construction of bicultural identity.
POST-IMPERIAL BORDER-CROSSINGS: THE EPIPHANY OF BICULTURALISM IN V. S. NAIPAUL’S THE ENIGMA OF ARRIVAL
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