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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Naipaul knocks literary giants


Thursday, 06 April 2006
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VS NAIPAUL


Trinidad-born British novelist Sir VS Naipaul has lambasted literary greats from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to "the worst writer in the world" Henry James. Naipaul described Thomas Hardy as "an unbearable writer" who "doesn't know how to compose a paragraph." And Ernest Hemingway "was so busy being an American" he "didn't know where he was," he told the Literary Review. A report carried by the BBC said Naipaul, who was knighted in 1990, said his own writings had been neglected in his home country. "England has not appreciated or acknowledged the work I have done," he said. Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001 and is best known for A House for Mr Biswas and the Booker Prize-winning In A Free State. "English writing is very much of England, for the people of England, and is not meant to travel too far," said the 73-year-old author. The author slates Dickens for his "repetitiveness" and cites the experience of reading Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey as a revelatory one. "I thought halfway through the book, 'Here am I, a grown man reading about this terrible vapid woman and her so-called love life.' "I said to myself, 'What am I doing with this material? This is for somebody else, really." But the author is more complimentary towards HG Wells, Mark Twain and his friend Harold Pinter. It is not the first time the Literary Review has provided a platform for the author's strong opinions. In 2001, it said, Naipaul accused EM Forster of being a sexual predator and described Irish author James Joyce as incomprehensible.

(The Caribbean Camera)

Posted by jebratt :: Thursday, April 06, 2006 :: 0 comments

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