V. S. Naipaul: Wikis

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V.S. Naipaul
Born 17 August 1932 (1932-08-17) (age 77)
Chaguanas, Trinidad
Occupation Novelist, essayist
Nationality British
Genres Novel
Literary movement Realism, Postcolonialism
Notable work(s) A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, The Enigma of Arrival
Notable award(s) Booker Prize
1971
Nobel Prize in Literature
2001

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul Kt. TC (born August 17, 1932, in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago), commonly known as V. S. Naipaul, is a British novelist and essayist of Indo-Trinidadian descent. He is widely considered to be one of the masters of modern English prose.[1] He has been awarded numerous literary prizes including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (1958), the Somerset Maugham Award (1960), the Hawthornden Prize (1964), the W. H. Smith Literary Award (1968), the Booker Prize (1971), and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in British Literature (1993). V. S. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, the centenary year of the award.[2]

In 2008, The Times ranked Naipaul seventh on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[3]

Contents

Personal life

He is the son, older brother, uncle, and cousin of published authors Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Neil Bissoondath, and Vahni Capildeo, respectively. His current wife is Nadira Naipaul, a former Pakistani journalist.

Naipaul was married to Englishwoman Patricia Hale for 41 years, until her death due to cancer in 1996. The two shared a close relationship when it came to Naipaul's work—Pat was a sort of unofficial editor for Naipaul—according to the new, authorized biography by Patrick French (although Naipaul is cited with admitting his fear that his devotion to his writing and infidelities may have accelerated Pat's death).[4] As well as regularly visiting prostitutes in London, while she was at work as a school teacher, Naipaul often abandoned his wife to travel with Margaret Gooding, a married Anglo-Argentinian woman who he had met in 1972. Patrick French has written that Naipaul subjected both wife and mistress to regular sessions of sexual and physical abuse.[5]

Prior to Hale's death, Naipaul proposed to Nadira Naipaul, a divorced Pakistani journalist, born Nadira Khannum Alvi. They were married two months after Hale's death, at which point Naipaul abruptly ended his affair with Margaret Gooding. Nadira Naipaul had worked as a journalist for the Pakistani newspaper, The Nation, for ten years before meeting Naipaul. Nadira was divorced twice before her marriage to Naipaul and has two children from a previous marriage, Maliha Naipaul and Nadir.[6]

She is the sister of Maj Gen (Retd) Amir Faisal Alvi, a former chief of the Special Service Group - Pakistan Army, who was later assassinated during the War in North-West Pakistan.[7]

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Political Views

Naipaul insists that his writing transcends any particular ideological outlook, remarking that "to have a political view is to be prejudiced. I don't have a political view." His supporters often perceive as offering a mordant critique of many left-liberal pieties while his detractors, such as Edward Said and Derek Walcott accuse him of being a neo-colonial apologist. [8] Outside of his fiction Naipaul, has expressed sympathy with many right-wing positions. He has stated that the Hindutva are India's last hope against the Muslim invasion. He has also excoriated Tony Blair as a "pirate" at the head of "a socialist revolution", a man who was "destroying the idea of civilisation in this country" and had created "a plebeian culture". [9]

Assessment of his work

In awarding Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." The Committee also noted Naipaul's affinity with the Polish author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad:

Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.

His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. Literary critic Edward Said, for example, argues that Naipaul "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting what Said classifies as "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies".[10] Said believes that Naipaul's worldview may be most salient in the author's book-length essay The Middle Passage, which Naipaul composed after returning to the Caribbean after ten years of exile in England, and the misunderstood, underrepresented work An Area of Darkness.

His works have become required reading in many schools within the developing World. Among English-speaking countries, Naipaul's following is dramatically stronger in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States.

Writing in the New York Review of Books about Naipaul, Joan Didion offers the following portrayal of the writer:[11]

The actual world has for Naipaul a radiance that diminishes all ideas of it. The pink haze of the bauxite dust on the first page of Guerrillas tells us what we need to know about the history and social organization of the unnamed island on which the action takes place, tells us in one image who runs the island and for whose profit the island is run and at what cost to the life of the island this profit has historically been obtained, but all of this implicit information pales in the presence of the physical fact, the dust itself... The world Naipaul sees is of course no void at all: it is a world dense with physical and social phenomena, brutally alive with the complications and contradictions of actual human endeavour... This world of Naipaul's is in fact charged with what can only be described as a romantic view of reality, an almost unbearable tension between the idea and the physical fact...

Naipaul has been criticised for dwelling on some negative aspects of Islam in his works, such as nihilism among fundamentalists.[citation needed] Naipaul's support for Hindutva has also been controversial. He has been quoted describing the destruction of the Babri Mosque as a "creative passion", and the invasion of Babur in the 16th century as a "mortal wound."[citation needed] He views Vijayanagar, which fell in 1565, as the last bastion of native Hindu civilisation.[citation needed] He remains a somewhat reviled figure in Pakistan, which he bitingly condemned in Among the Believers.[citation needed]

In 1993 Naipaul was awarded the British David Cohen Prize for Literature.

In 1998 a controversial memoir by Naipaul's sometime protégé Paul Theroux was published. The book provides a personal, though occasionally caustic portrait of Naipaul. The memoir, entitled Sir Vidia's Shadow, was precipitated by a falling-out between the two men a few years earlier.

In early 2007, V.S Naipaul made a long-awaited return to his homeland of Trinidad. He urged citizens to shrug off the notions of "Indian" and "African" and to concentrate on being "Trinidadian". He was warmly received by students and intellectuals alike and it seems, finally, that he has come to some form of closure with Trinidad.

In 2008, writer Patrick French released the first authorized biography of Naipaul, which portrayed a tormented, and tormenting, personal life.[12]

Bibliography

Fiction

Non-fiction

Further reading

  • Girdharry, Arnold (2004) The Wounds of Naipaul and the Women in His Indian Trilogy (Copley).
  • Barnouw, Dagmar (2003) Naipaul's Strangers (Indiana University Press).
  • Dissanayake, Wimal (1993) Self and Colonial Desire: Travel Writings of V.S. Naipaul (P. Lang).
  • French, Patrick (2008) The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul (Random House)
  • Hamner, Robert (1973). V.S. Naipaul (Twayne).
  • Hammer, Robert ed. (1979) Critical Perspectives on V.S. Naipaul (Heinemann).
  • Hayward, Helen (2002) The Enigma of V.S. Naipaul: Sources and Contexts (Macmillan).
  • Hughes, Peter (1988) V.S. Naipaul (Routledge).
  • Jarvis, Kelvin (1989) V.S. Naipaul: A Selective Bibliography with Annotations, 1957–1987 (Scarecrow).
  • Jussawalla, Feroza, ed. (1997) Conversations with V.S. Naipaul (University Press of Mississippi).
  • Kelly, Richard (1989) V.S. Naipaul (Continuum).
  • Khan, Akhtar Jamal (1998) V.S. Naipaul: A Critical Study (Creative Books)
  • King, Bruce (1993) V.S. Naipaul (Macmillan).
  • King, Bruce (2003) V.S. Naipaul, 2nd ed (Macmillan)
  • Kramer, Jane (13 April 1980) From the Third World, an assessment of Naipaul's work in the New York Times Book Review.
  • Levy, Judith (1995) V.S. Naipaul: Displacement and Autobiography (Garland).
  • Nightingale, Peggy (1987) Journey through Darkness: The Writing of V.S. Naipaul (University of Queensland Press).
  • Said, Edward (1986) Intellectuals in the Post-Colonial World (Salmagundi).
  • Theroux, Paul (1998) Sir Vidia's Shadow: A Friendship across Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin).
  • Theroux, Paul (1972). V.S. Naipaul: An Introduction to His Work (Deutsch).
  • Weiss, Timothy F (1992) On the Margins: The Art of Exile in V.S. Naipaul (University of Massachusetts Press).

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (born 17 August 1932) is a British writer who was born and raised in Trinidad. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.

Contents

Sourced

  • One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.
    • Quoted in "V.S. Naipaul in Search of Himself: A Conversation" with Mel Gussow, The New York Times, (24 April 1994)
  • To this day, if you ask me how I became a writer, I cannot give you an answer. To this day, if you ask me how a book is written, I cannot answer. For long periods, if I didn't know that somehow in the past I had written a book, I would have given up.
    • Quoted in "V.S. Naipaul in Search of Himself: A Conversation" with Mel Gussow, The New York Times, (24 April 1994)
  • I have told people who ask for lectures that I have no lecture to give. And that is true. It might seem strange that a man who has dealt in words and emotions and ideas for nearly fifty years shouldn't have a few to spare, so to speak. But everything of value about me is in my books. Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn't fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will — with luck — come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise. That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing.

The Enigma of Arrival (1987)

Vintage, 1988, ISBN 0-394-75760-2
  • I also bought a copy of The New York Times, the previous day's issue of which I had seen the previous day in Puerto Rico. I was interested in newspapers and knew this paper to be one of the foremost in the world. But to read a newspaper for the first time is like coming into a film that has been on for an hour. Newspapers are like serials. To understand them you have to take knowledge to them; the knowledge that serves best is the knowledge provided by the newspaper itself. It made me feel a stranger, that paper.
    • "The Journey" (p. 115)

A Turn in the South (1989)

Vintage, 1990, ISBN 0-679-72488-5
  • The family feuds or the village feuds often had to do with an idea of honor. Perhaps it was a peasant idea; perhaps this idea of honor is especially important to a society without recourse to law or without confidence in law.
    • Ch. 5 (p. 162)
  • The frontier had ceased to exist. And the religions it had bred were beginning slowly to die. In the old days, when men, often of little education, had needed only to declare themselves ministers, people would have seen themselves reflected in the expounders of the Word. This quality of homespun would have made the religions appear creations of a community, personal and close and inviolable. Now a certain distance was needed.
    • Ch. 6 (p. 244)

Half a Life (2001)

  • Life doesn't have a neat beginning and a tidy end, life is always going on. You should begin in the middle and end in the middle, and it should be all there.
  • I could scarcely bear to look at her eyes. They promised such intimacies.
  • I thought how terrible it would have been if, as could so easily have happened, I had died without knowing this depth of satisfaction, this other person that I had just discovered within myself. It was worth any price, any consequence.
  • And whenever I saw Luis, Graça's husband, I dealt with him with a friendship that was quite genuine, since it was offered out of gratitude for Graça's love.
  • Before comfort had been squeezed out of the hard land, like blood out of stone.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

V.S.Naipaul
Occupation Novelist, essayist

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, Kt, TC (born August 17 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago) is a British writer who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and lives in Wiltshire. He is better known as V. S. Naipaul and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and the first person of Indian origin to win a Booker Prize (1971).

Bibliography

Fiction

  • The Mystic Masseur (novel) - (1957) (film version: The Mystic Masseur (2001))
  • The Suffrage of Elvira - (1958)
  • Miguel Street - (1959)
  • A House for Mr Biswas - (1961)
  • Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion - (1963)
  • A Flag on the Island - (1967)
  • The Mimic Men - (1967)
  • In a Free State - (1971)
  • Guerrillas - (1975)
  • A Bend in the River - (1979)
  • Finding the Centre - (1984)
  • The Enigma of Arrival - (1987)
  • A Way in the World - (1994)
  • Half a Life - (2001)
  • Magic Seeds - (2004)
  • Man-Man

Non-fiction

  • The Middle Passage: Impressions of Five Societies - British, French and Dutch in the West Indies and South America (1962)
  • An Area of Darkness (1964)
  • The Loss of El Dorado - (1969)
  • The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles (1972)
  • India: A Wounded Civilization (1977)
  • A Congo Diary (1980)
  • The Return of Eva Perón and the Killings in Trinidad (1980)
  • Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981)
  • Finding the Centre (1984)
  • Reading & Writing: A Personal Account (2000)
  • A Turn in the South (1989)
  • India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990)
  • Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and S. Rushdie)
  • Bombay (1994, with Raghubir Singh)
  • Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1998)
  • Between Father and Son: Family Letters (1999, edited by Gillon Aitken)
  • The Writer and the World: Essays - (2002)
  • Literary Occasions: Essays (2003, by Pankaj Mishra)
  • A Writer's People: Ways of Looking and Feeling (2007)

Further reading

  • Girdharry, Arnold (2004) The Wounds of Naipaul and the Women in His Indian Trilogy (Copley).
  • Barnouw, Dagmar (2003) Naipaul's Strangers (Indiana University Press).
  • Dissanayake, Wimal (1993) Self and Colonial Desire: Travel Writings of V.S. Naipaul (P. Lang).
  • Hamner, Robert (1973). V.S. Naipaul (Twayne).
  • Hammer, Robert ed. (1979) Critical Perspectives on V.S. Naipaul (Heinemann).
  • Hayward, Helen (2002) The Enigma of V.S. Naipaul: Sources and Contexts (Macmillan).
  • Hughes, Peter (1988) V.S. Naipaul (Routledge).
  • Jarvis, Kelvin (1989) V.S. Naipaul: A Selective Bibliography with Annotations, 1957–1987 (Scarecrow).
  • Jussawalla, Feroza, ed. (1997) Conversations with V.S. Naipaul (University Press of Mississippi).
  • Kelly, Richard (1989) V.S. Naipaul (Continuum).
  • Khan, Akhtar Jamal (1998) V.S. Naipaul: A Critical Study (Creative Books)
  • King, Bruce (1993) V.S. Naipaul (Macmillan).
  • King, Bruce (2003) V.S. Naipaul, 2nd ed (Macmillan)
  • Kramer, Jane (13 April 1980) From the Third World, an assessment of Naipaul's work in the New York Times Book Review.
  • Levy, Judith (1995) V.S. Naipaul: Displacement and Autobiography (Garland).
  • Nightingale, Peggy (1987) Journey through Darkness: The Writing of V.S. Naipaul (University of Queensland Press).
  • Said, Edward (1986) Intellectuals in the Post-Colonial World (Salmagundi).
  • Theroux, Paul (1998) Sir Vidia's Shadow: A Friendship across Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin).
  • Theroux, Paul (1972). V.S. Naipaul: An Introduction to His Work (Deutsch).
  • Weiss, Timothy F (1992) On the Margins: The Art of Exile in V.S. Naipaul (University of Massachusetts Press).

Other websites

mrj:Найпол, Видиадхар Сураджпрасад


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