AN Wilson and VS Naipaul

A very negative review of VS Naipaul here by AN Wilson.

Fans of Naughtie got a double delight last week when, just before the eight o\’clock news, he was interviewing Sir Vidia Naipaul. Since being awarded the Nobel Prize, Naipaul seems to have slipped from being a great writer who is occasionally idiotic into being an old bore who does not know when he is making a fool of himself.

Writing and reading are very different arts, and relationships between writers themselves are always fraught. Envy distorts his discussion of his fellow-Caribbean Nobel laureate, Derek Walcott. "I had looked at a few of the later poems. They did not stir me."

He does not so much as name Omeros or Tiepolo Hound, two of the most remarkable works of literature in our time. Any dispassionate reader can see that Naipaul is incapable of reading a great poet because his own ego is getting in the way.

OK, bad review, nothing unusual….but I don\’t think we should expect anything else from this reviewer on this writer. I\’ve forgotten (if I ever understood them) the details but there\’s been a decades long spat between the two anyway. This is just the latest installment and it\’s a bit like academic arguments. They\’re so vicious because there\’s nothing really at stake.

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