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Epilogue

The Death of the Author

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2024

Vijay Mishra
Affiliation:
Murdoch University, Western Australia
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Summary

Using a short work by Jane Gallop on what the “theoretical” death of an author means when one is faced with an actual death of a writer one is writing on, the Epilogue argues that we have now entered an age in which an ethics of responsibility dictates that the death of the author is not just a theoretical problematic but one where both theory, personal loss, and mourning are brought together. The Epilogue thinks through the literary death of the writer. It is argued through close readings of three of his final works that Naipaul’s literary death coincides with the death of his first wife Patricia Naipaul in 1996. His final three major works are read as works symptomatic of a writer no longer in control of his great literary gifts. When the aesthetic impulse dies, the “author” dies too, but in the case of a great writer, which Naipaul is, before his “death” he had created worlds that no other writer had created. That achievement, singular and original, has to be acknowledged insofar as it now enables us to rethink and reconceptualize what it means to be a writer of “world literature.”

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Epilogue
  • Vijay Mishra, Murdoch University, Western Australia
  • Book: V. S. Naipaul and World Literature
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009433853.009
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  • Epilogue
  • Vijay Mishra, Murdoch University, Western Australia
  • Book: V. S. Naipaul and World Literature
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009433853.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Vijay Mishra, Murdoch University, Western Australia
  • Book: V. S. Naipaul and World Literature
  • Online publication: 01 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009433853.009
Available formats
×