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After the completion of his earlier Caribbean novels V S Naipaul began his extended travels and subsequent writings inspired by those travels A Bend in the River 1979 results from such an undertaking The story in A Bend in the River depicts how an emergent African nation struggles against all odds to be a modernized one Despite episodes on internal warfare and corruption that effect migration in and out of the country it is obvious that there is a continuous thematic concern in the novel This thematic concern is structured around a dualism of rootedness and displacement one that Naipaul explores the identity and cultural formations of the diaspora This thematic consistency therefore does not preclude Naipauls credibility of being a superb world novelist as Ian Watt once said of him On the contrary issues that engross the novelists unwavered attention become particularly urgent under the turbulence due to faster and more intensified exchanges under globalization In this paper through a reading of A Bend in the River I want to suggest that not only does the notion of home is interrogated but by means of travelling back and forth in time the present can be extended and expanded The concern of this paper calls our attention to a renunciation of temporal axis to which post-imperial and Third World nations at large refer in their development layouts I argue that the past haunts Naipaul constantly and throughout his narratives he explores the meanings of the past to constitute his present being The heritage he is born in and bred is of India and England His father Seepersad a second generation East Indian West Indian with a
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