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COLONIALISM AND ‘AUTHENTICITY’: V.S. NAIPAUL’S THE MIMIC MEN
Pages 57

One of the most persistent prejudices underlying the production of the texts of the metropolitan canon is that only certain categories of experience are capable of being rendered as ‘literature’. This privileging of particular types of experience denies access to the world for the writer subject to a dominating colonial culture. It works in a complicated and reciprocal way, both denying value to the post-colonial experience itself, as ‘unworthy’ of literature, and preventing postcolonial texts from engaging with that experience. The result is that the post-colonial writer is consigned to a world of mimicry and imitation, since he is forced to write about material which lies at one remove from the significant experiences of the post-colonial world.