Read A Way in the World by V.S. Naipaul Free Online
Book Title: A Way in the World|
The author of the book: V.S. Naipaul
Edition: Picador USA
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 578 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1979 times
Reader ratings: 4.4
Date of issue: April 1st 2011
ISBN 13: 9780330522885
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I have said in my comments on this site that I think that the millenarian tendencies of some of my more, shall we say, zealous Christian forebears, might have made me keenly receptive to dystopic narratives, among other grim eschatological works. We know there are talents as well as resemblances, not to say cognitive skills and deficits, that pass from one generation to the next. Having said that, and having just finished my second reading of this Naipaul gem, I wonder if Naipaul's own forebears might not have prepared him for a certain hyper-vigilance to status and caste.
Naipaul is descended from a high-caste Brahmin family. One of the singular features of all of his work has always been a hyper-awareness of status that is unlike anything I know in any other contemporary writer. Who stands where in the social pecking order, how that standing has altered over time, whether someone is higher in repute, fame, success, than they were in the past, or lower and why —all of these concerns fascinate Naipaul.
Now, you could argue, I suppose, 'well, he's a writer, naturally he would have keen observations about character and related matters.' To that I would respond, yes, true, but there is something unique about the content of Naipaul's observations and his remarks upon them. There is a pitiless honesty, yes, but also something more. Is this the result of some kind of genetic hardwiring? This is something the cognitive sciences have only begun to study. So I wanted to think out loud a little here, and ask if my Naipaul-loving GR friends might have any insight into this aspect of his work. Has anyone else marked this penchant of Naipaul's?
PS: Please read Brent Staples review of A Way in the World from the New York Times. I think it's excellent.
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Read information about the authorNaipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose.
At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarship to study abroad. In the introduction to the 20th-anniversary edition of A House for Mr. Biswas, he reflected that the scholarship would have allowed him to study any subject at any institution of higher learning in the British Commonwealth, but that he chose to go to Oxford to do a simple degree in English. He went, he wrote, "in order at last to write...." In August 1950, Naipaul boarded a Pan Am flight to New York, continuing the next day by boat to London.
50 years later, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad "V. S." Naipaul was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories."
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