Central to the polarizing discussions of the late-period work of V. S. Naipaul has been the author’s apparent faithfulness to methods—and political presuppositions—derived from nineteenth-century British models of literary realism. This essay explores Naipaul’s pivotal late-period work Guerrillas as marking a shift toward what it terms postcolonial naturalism as a way of both distancing the author’s aesthetic from the realism of a depleted romantic nationalism and anticipating, through its own codification of affect, an as yet unnamable globalization.

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