AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 2. May 2021 Pp.39-48
The Value of Intertextuality in Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners and Naipaul’s The Mimic
University of Tunis, Tunisia
University of Shaqra, Faculty of Sciences and Arts of Sajer, Saudi Arabia
Received: 2/3/2021 Accepted: 5/8/2021 Published: 5/24/2021
Studies on comparative literature have been fragmentary concentrating on one or two aspects of the thematic concerns of novels without emphasizing the concepts of divergent and convergent intertextuality. This paper aims to revisit Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners re-reading it in dialogue with Naipaul’s novel The Mimic Men. The selected novels are controversial. Criticism deployed on all fronts conveys the pluralities and oppositions that are in fact the novels’ hallmarks. Yet, the aspects criticized attest to, and confirm, the authors’ taking of the less trodden track. The comparative analysis within the scope of this paper will show that Naipaul’s and Selvon’s fictional representations of creolized Trinidadian and English societies highlight specific cultural and linguistic aspects and that intertextuality is either convergent or divergent. For instance, the structure of Naipaul’s text takes as much from Caribbean orature and the wake of Caribbean plantation culture. However, Selvon’s novel takes the form of flashbacks. Naipaul innovates and transforms Selvon’s structure to generate a Caribbean context, par excellence. Traces of Selvon’s style are present in Naipaul’s corrosive voice of representing Caribbean identity. Naipaul brings to an apotheosis the creative force already illustrated in the remarkable works of Selvon. This paper aims to track these traces and foreground the idea that texts can speak to each other. More significantly, this paper assesses the main characters’ fates to re-question the status of creoles, a status deliberately put between parentheses, denying them the right to voice their hybrid identities. Above all, the close textual reading of Galahad’s and Singh’s stories is meant to value the trope of intertextuality.
Keywords: appraisal, convergent intertextuality, creolized canon, divergent intertextuality,
the lonely Londoners, and the mimic men
Cite as: Mzoughi, I. (2021). The Value of Intertextuality in Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners and Naipaul’s The Mimic Men.
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (2) 39-48.
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