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Abstract

In his article "On Naipaul's Cultural Positions in The Middle Passage" Shizen Ozawa discusses V.S. Naipaul's first travel writing. An account of his "returning" journey to the five Caribbean "colonial societies," The Middle Passage constitutes a major turning point in Naipaul's long literary career. Whereas his earlier novels depict his homeland of Trinidad ironically, although with a certain warmth and sympathy, from The Middle Passage on the world depicted both in his fictions and non-fictions turns bleaker. Correspondingly, his authorial persona changes from that of a West Indian writer to a controversial chronicler of chaotic postcolonial conditions. Ozawa analyses how Naipaul positions himself in relation to the Caribbean societies he describes and demonstrates that Naipaul characterizes himself strategically as a cultural insider in some passages and as an outsider in others. Naipaul's frequent references to Victorian metropolitan travelers are also discussed in terms of the writer's cultural affiliations.