post Whitney.

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. 

Naipaul on how his writing transcends… the universe, and the “banality” of his female peers

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. 

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife, Anne Sinclair, was named France’s woman of the year on Monday by a popular French women’s magazine.

Terrafemina polled more than 1,000 respondents over the phone earlier this month to decide who among the 10 finalists had “most made her mark” in 2011. The AFP, which speaks better French than we do, explains that the 63-year-old Sinclair, who stood by her husband in the face of allegations that he sexually assaulted a New York City maid, narrowly edged out Christine Lagarde, the woman who replaced DSK as chief of the International Monetary Fund, by 1 percent, 25 to 24.

Perhaps more noteworthy was the fact that women voters were the ones who ultimately handed the title to Sinclair, picking the wealthy art heiress over Lagarde by a 10-percent margin, 31 to 21. Male respondents, meanwhile, opted for the former French finance minister over Sinclair 28 percent to 19 percent, the New York Post points out.

Coming in third in the poll, one point behind Lagarde, was politician Martine Aubry. French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy tallied 16 percent, while Tristane Banon, who came forward with her own sexual assault allegations against DSK, finished last among the ten finalists, with 4 percent of the vote. -Slate

I’m torn. The Good Wife, as banal the term, has its merits. Depending on the relationship, if a couple wishes to persevere through betrayal, they have every right to do so without having to defend vitriol of misogyny or misandry. 

Though it’s telling, of what is to be determined, that women championed Sinclair over Lagarde. 

Is it familial values that women emphatically endorse?

Are women less knowledgeable of/interested in global and economic affairs and thus less inclined to be familiar with women like Lagarde?

Is the converse true of men? 

What are the sociological justifications and implications of “Woman of the Year”?