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A pastoral for Mr. Biswas

Marius Hentea UGent (2010) JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE. 45(1). p.97-114
abstract
The opening chapter of V. S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas is entitled "Pastoral", but the word itself never appears in the novel. This is especially odd because all of the other chapter titles are grounded within the text as either geographic or temporal designations. "Pastoral" stands out for its absence, and this article reads A House for Mr. Biswas through the lens of the missing pastoral. While many works treat Naipaul's use of landscape, this essay looks at the pastoral as a literary form and also, in Naipaul's view, as a representative metaphor for the British literary tradition. While Biswas is saturated with pastoral imagery, the pastoral is impossible in the colonial society Naipaul depicts. It is only by escaping the temptations of the pastoral, both for Mr. Biswas and also for Naipaul, that meaningful experience can be achieved.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
pastoral, literary tradition, V.S. Naipaul, postcolonial literature, A House for Mr. Biswas
journal title
JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE
J. Commonw. Lit.
volume
45
issue
1
pages
97 - 114
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000276716700007
ISSN
0021-9894
DOI
10.1177/0021989409359857
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1944182
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1944182
date created
2011-11-18 14:49:19
date last changed
2012-01-20 09:43:09
@article{1944182,
  abstract     = {The opening chapter of V. S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas is entitled {\textacutedbl}Pastoral{\textacutedbl}, but the word itself never appears in the novel. This is especially odd because all of the other chapter titles are grounded within the text as either geographic or temporal designations. {\textacutedbl}Pastoral{\textacutedbl} stands out for its absence, and this article reads A House for Mr. Biswas through the lens of the missing pastoral. While many works treat Naipaul's use of landscape, this essay looks at the pastoral as a literary form and also, in Naipaul's view, as a representative metaphor for the British literary tradition. While Biswas is saturated with pastoral imagery, the pastoral is impossible in the colonial society Naipaul depicts. It is only by escaping the temptations of the pastoral, both for Mr. Biswas and also for Naipaul, that meaningful experience can be achieved.},
  author       = {Hentea, Marius},
  issn         = {0021-9894},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE},
  keyword      = {pastoral,literary tradition,V.S. Naipaul,postcolonial literature,A House for Mr. Biswas},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {97--114},
  title        = {A pastoral for Mr. Biswas},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021989409359857},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Hentea, Marius. 2010. “A Pastoral for Mr. Biswas.” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 45 (1): 97–114.
APA
Hentea, M. (2010). A pastoral for Mr. Biswas. JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE, 45(1), 97–114.
Vancouver
1.
Hentea M. A pastoral for Mr. Biswas. JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE. 2010;45(1):97–114.
MLA
Hentea, Marius. “A Pastoral for Mr. Biswas.” JOURNAL OF COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE 45.1 (2010): 97–114. Print.