v s naipaul quotes


We made no inquiries about India or about the families people had left behind. When our ways of thinking had changed, and we wished to know, it was too late. I know nothing of the people on my father's side; I know only that some of them came from Nepal.


It's very attractive to people to be a victim. Instead of having to think out the whole situation, about history and your group and what you are doing... if you begin from the point of view of being a victim, you've got it half-made. I mean intellectually.


To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter.'


How can you be an atheist and have an ideology to go with it? To be an atheist is to be free of some areas of belief. I don't see how that can become an ideology.


The reason is that they define how I have gone about my business. I have trusted to intuition. I did it at the beginning. I do it even now. I have no idea how things might turn out, where in my writing I might go next.


One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas - and you have to work through it all.


Africa is not a fun place, you know. A fun place is somewhere that lifts the spirits, that cossets the senses. I don't think that can be said of the Africa I traveled in.


All the details of the life and the quirks and the friendships can be laid out for us, but the mystery of the writing will remain. No amount of documentation, however fascinating, can take us there.


In Trinidad, where as new arrivals we were a disadvantaged community, that excluding idea was a kind of protection; it enabled us - for the time being, and only for the time being - to live in our own way and according to our own rules, to live in our own fading India.


What I felt was, if you spend your life just writing fiction, you are going to falsify your material. And the fictional form was going to force you to do things with the material, to dramatize it in a certain way. I thought nonfiction gave one a chance to explore the world, the other world, the world that one didn't know fully.


The longer I live the more convinced I become that one of the greatest honors we can confer on other people is to see them as they are, to recognize not only that they exist, but that they exist in specific ways and have specific realities.


Some writers can only deal with childhood experience, because it's complete. For another kind of writer, life goes on, and he's able to keep processing that as well.


I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.


It was a good place for getting lost in, a city no one ever knew, a city explored from the neutral heart outward, until after many years, it defined itself into a jumble of clearings separated by stretches of the unknown, through which the narrowest of paths had been cut.


There are certain things that are too painful for people to even write about sometimes, and there are certain things that are too hard to read about again.


The first 50 years of the cinema were absolutely great years. Original minds were at work establishing the ways to tell a story. And what is happening now is a copying, a pastiche-ing of what was done by great men.


Argentine political life is like the life of an ant community or an African forest tribe: full of events, full of crisis and deaths, but life is always cyclical, and the year ends as it begins.


One is made by all the things around one. There are many things that have made one. For a writer to go around looking for things that have made him is asking for trouble. It's like giving a character to yourself. Can't do it. Can't do it. These things are just there. Is that enough?


If you decide to move to another country and to live within its laws you don't express your disregard for the essence of the culture. It's a form of aggression.


Each book, intuitively sensed and, in the case of fiction, intuitively worked out, stands on what has gone before, and grows out of it. I feel that at any stage of my literary career it could have been said that the last book contained all the others.


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