Sparse | mordant | honest,
Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul fancies his acuity as such.
And I suppose it is. Hemingway.
Leaving the Whitney today, a friend of a friend of a friend happened to be reading a Naipaul novel outside of the museum and the conversation quickly diverted to the censuring comments the author made of women writers last May.
The friend of the friend of the friend huffed “Ugh. Naipaul is a misogynist,” and without context I shunned the self-aggrandizing novelist to that deep dark bad in my spirit.
But, doubling back for contexture.
The author, who was born in Trinidad [of Indian descent], said this was because of women’s “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”. “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,” he said. (The Guardian)
And like that, no longer offended, as it is apparent Naipaul’s perspective is as picayune as they come. The irony. Reminiscent of Pausanias’ speech in The Symposium: Love honoring ‘Heavenly Aphrodite’ springs entirely of the male and is free of wantonness; is intellectual, soulful, and longstanding. ‘Common Aphrodite’ is of the female and is provincial, prurient, and coquettish. Right… Ryan Murphy’s bible.
Blame the patriarchy. Basically.
Naipaul’s view of women is almost exclusively jaded by his inability to eclipse culturalisms. The lens of a female NYC writer is dissimilar to that of female writer from Lancaster, PA than a female writer from a remote village in the Sikkim state of India, than an Egyptian female writer, than a female writer from Wales, than an oracle, than a Brian Griffin.
Conditioning and access, not the dyadic composition of chromosomes, is most emblematic of a person’s ascribed writing style, of their depth perception.
Alex Clark, a literary journalist, said, “It’s absurd. I suspect VS Naipaul thinks that there isn’t anyone who is his equal. Is he really saying that writers such as Hilary Mantel, A S Byatt, Iris Murdoch are sentimental or write feminine tosh?” (IBN Live)
His Eruditeness, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipul, this, this eludes him.