Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Price, Matthew. "The World is Not Enough." THE NATIONAL May 15, 2008.

Depending on where you stand, V. S. Naipaul is either a grand old man of letters or a grand old grump. Rightly famed for his steady literary output, Naipaul is also infamous for his provocations. Whether he’s saying something nasty about Muslims or defending snobbery, when Naipaul speaks, you can almost guarantee there will be an uproar. For Naipaul, now 75, being disagreeable is a way of being alive; he likes to wind people up – and he generally succeeds. In Britain, Sir Vidia is practically a national institution of literary gossip; he’s given up writing novels, but his bluster keeps him in the papers. (An anthology of Naipaul’s vituperations would be immense, but his spleen is captured in his remarks about the people of Trinidad, where he was born in 1932: “These people live purely physical lives, which I find contemptible ... It makes them interesting only to chaps in universities who want to do compassionate studies about brutes.”) For an alleged recluse who lives in the English countryside, Naipaul has always had a way of generating publicity. The English literary classes seem obsessed with his private life, and the recent publication of The World is What It Is, Patrick French’s authorised life of Naipaul, has given them plenty to chatter about. . . . Read the rest here: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080515/REVIEW/749012124/1093.

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