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THE MIMIC MEN - 1967

Theses have proliferated about all of V S Naipaul’s works but The Mimic Men has generated the bulk. “Manifestations of Colonization in V S Naipaul’s The Mimic Men by ه ار روا ل " ا" Shayma Mohammad Mahmoud is a very recent one that makes for interesting reading. This proliferation is no doubt due to the book’s paradigmatic status as the post-colonial text par excellence as this article emphasises.

As Thomas F. Halloran points out, as a result, “[r]eading V S Naipaul has become overly complex because of the polarized critical reception that has won him both the Nobel Prize for Literature and the label of bigoted, racist hatemonger” and The Mimic Men is central to this split. This novel has nonetheless also remained central to thinking through the idea of mimicry and colonial pathologies. The classic overtones of his representation of individual subjectivity have however not been missed.

1967-2000

Karl Miller in “V S Naipaul and the New Order” claims that the “occasional obscurities of The Mimic Men may in part be due to the novelist’s long absence from the West Indies.” Victor Ramraj in “The All-Embracing Christlike Vision: Tone and Attitude in The Mimic Men” propounds that Naipaul employs a technique similar to Proust’s narrator “who sits outside time and space recalling through involuntary memory privileged images and moods.” Peter Nazareth in The Mimic Men as a study of Corruption” applauds Naipaul for his insight in presenting the “disappointment of London to a colonial-immigrant-student, who has yearned for London as the Mecca of all his ambitions, to whom the very names Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column and Euston Station assumed mythical dimensions.” Gordon Rohlehr reminds us of the fact that the “modernist confessional is usually aggressive, in that it aims to undermine the complacency of society by making lucid, sick anti-heroes its most representative voices” (20).