The Writer and the World: Essays by V.S. Naipaul

The man can write– and make you think. Which is (one of the reasons) why he was awared the Nobel in Literature. Interesting essays, these, many from the late 60s onwards. I must admit, however, that I was drawn most to those that were concerning India.

More interesting is the coincidence of the latest book about his– or about him: the “authorized” biography by Patrick French titled ‘The World Is What It Is.’ Pico Iyer’s review of this book in Time magazine is interesting enough where I think I might check it out at the library.   What can and should be sacrificed in the name of art is apparently the predominant theme of the biography, and the answer, sadly, that seems to emanate is one’s own self. The price of art is high indeed.

But to come back to this book of essays, I was taken by a review on the back of the book by Margaret Manning of the Boston Globe, who says about Naipaul: “He is… the most splendid writer of English alive today… He looks into the mad eye of history and does not blink.”


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