Colonial Fantasy Shattered, Cosmopolitan Dream Broken: V. S. Naipaul’s Mr Stone and the Knights Companion

Weiwei Xu


V. S. Naipaul’s depiction of the dull London life in Mr Stone and the Knights Companion challenges metropolitan-centrism in cosmopolitanism. Criticising the self-consciousness and insularity of English people, Naipaul illustrates the point that the multiplication of cultural contacts and exchanges facilitated in the metropolis does not necessarily mean that the metropolitan locals exposed to it are pre-disposed toward cosmopolitan openness. He also points out the allure and danger of cosmopolitanism: consumption of various cultural products and luxurious stylisation of metropolitan life are superficially understood as signals of access and openness to differences, while xenophobia toward immigrants lurking under such a consumer orientation.



Colonial fantasy, metropolis, cosmopolitanism

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