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View Full Version : VS Naipaul loses his bite



aruna
02-02-2015, 08:16 PM
I loved A House for Mr Biswas, but then I learned of his character and never read anything else by him. maybe unfair, but still...

Anyway, old age is drained away his arrogance, (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/31/vs-naipaul-arrogance-used-to-be-legendary-ian-jack?CMP=share_btn_fb)it seems. A humble Naipaul? One can only dream...

AnneGlynn
02-03-2015, 12:01 AM
But will you read his other novels, now that time has taken its toll? Or will you avoid them, knowing that the arrogant VS Naipaul was the writer?

What an interesting link. Thank you for sharing it.

Jamesaritchie
02-03-2015, 12:41 AM
If I worried about a writer's character, his beliefs, or anything else other than the book he writes, there probably aren't three writers in the world I'd want to read, and most of my favorite writers would definitely be on the Do Not Read list.

And I couldn't, of course, read very many classic writes at all. Most of them were either racists or misogynists. I couldn't even read Thomas Jefferson.

Kylabelle
02-03-2015, 01:21 AM
Restoring the previous post; I mistook hyperbole for a statement of belief, it seems. My apologies for being too quick on the draw.

Carry on.

blacbird
02-03-2015, 11:03 AM
I may be in a minority, but I actually prefer the work of Shiva Naipaul, V.S.'s younger brother, who was famed as a partier and bon vivant, and died of a heart attack at age 40.

caw

WriterBN
02-03-2015, 08:17 PM
I'm probably in the minority as well, but I tend to separate a writer and his/her work. I don't care is someone is a complete asshole, what matters is if he can write beautifully enough to captivate me.

Kylabelle
02-03-2015, 08:50 PM
I'm probably in the minority as well, but I tend to separate a writer and his/her work. I don't care is someone is a complete asshole, what matters is if he can write beautifully enough to captivate me.

I doubt that's a minority view. I share it, certainly. Though I resist making any assumptions or sweeping statements about groups in general, writers of course included. As a matter of fact, I don't seek out information at all, about writers' lives. I encounter it, certainly, but it has to be something fairly extreme to change my feeling about the person's work or my willingness to read it.

CaroGirl
02-03-2015, 09:40 PM
He likely has some form of age-related dementia. This illness not only affects a person's memory, but also causes dramatic changes in personality. For example, a gregarious person becomes subdued, or a quiet person becomes combative.

It's a sad thing to watch when it happens to a loved one. I don't think Naipaul has had a sudden awareness of his former curmudgeonly attitude and has decided to change. I think, at 83, it's simply the cruel ravages of a dementia illness. :(

bearilou
02-04-2015, 07:17 PM
As a matter of fact, I don't seek out information at all, about writers' lives. I encounter it, certainly, but it has to be something fairly extreme to change my feeling about the person's work or my willingness to read it.

This. Some of us who do choose to no longer read a writer when they show what a shithead they are don't actively go out and try to dig up dirt to disregard reading them. If they have a big enough mouth they want to broadcast to the world what a shithead they are, then I can't help but take notice.

Still, after all the authors who do go out and prove what shitheads they are, I find that I am not suffering a glut of reading material after deciding I'm not going to read them any longer.

aruna
02-04-2015, 09:48 PM
I usually keep the author and his/her work separate. But Naipaul, for me, is different. He totally disowned his homeland, the wonderful little country that nourished him and made him what it is. One of the prejudices never ever mentioned is the prejudice of the big, rich, great nations and nationalities toward the little ones; the small islands and "insignificant" countries. Like Trinidad, like Guyana. You cannot imagine the sneering I've known on that account. We would have needed a Naipaul to stand up for the little forgotten nations. Instead, once famous, he too looked down his nose on us. Unforgiveable in my eyes! Not a penny more of royalties from me.

As for if I would read more of his books now: no. There are hundred of books I want/need to read. I don't expect his are all that much better than others I want/need to read, and I won't be able to read them all anyway. So, no.