Journal of caribbean literatures, spring, 2008 by serafin roldan-santiago
Naipaul, represent structures that deal directly with theme and ideas. They enrich the narratives with subtle meanings, thoughts and semantic direction. The autobiographical strand functions as a marker of personal identity since Naipaul has been in quest of "self" since the beginning. In the same manner, the philosophic strand has been essential in the development of a Naipaulian discourse. The philosophic strand is associated closely with the existential ideas of nothingness and dissolution, which in turn are closely connected to a state of pessimism and nihilism. This aura or existential sense is thus the idea or driving force that envelops many of his narratives. This is also true of Naipaulian irony. The philosophic notion of nothingness and dissolution has permeated most of Naipaul's writings beginning with his Trinidadian novels, especially The Middle Passage. This view has also developed further in some of Naipaul's middle works such as Mr. Stone and the Knight's Companion, The Mimic Men, and In a Free State, and in his later works such as A Bend in the River and The Enigma of Arrival. I prefer to call this a philosophic strand because the underlying currents and ideas can be classified as a variation of existentialist thought, perhaps post-1950s, that is, the ongoing existentialist thought to the present, especially as it pertains to post-coloniality.
Naipaul's use of this strand entails a deep pathos about life that many times ends in panic. Again, the great Naipaulian panic is brought forth. There is the mood and idea of decay and all that it can gather: dissolution, futility, corruption, and demise. It is a vision of the futility of life, especially in the post-colonial world. Lost colonials roaming across the post-colonial landscape, searching for a sense of identity, lost in a world that marginalizes them; their final destiny being desolation and dereliction. This