Monday, November 24, 2008

The World Is What It Is

Sorry, have been away, writing my blog at Have been reading Naipaul's Guerrillas, along with a few other books.

Found yet another interesting review of Naipaul's biography at the IHT:

After he had become an internationally famous writer, Naipaul liked to claim that he was a man without commitments or entanglements, free to observe and tell the truth as other, more sentimental souls were not. But at the darkest moment of his life, he attached himself to a quiet, intelligent, self-effacing young Englishwoman from an unhappy lower-middle-class family named Patricia Hale; and she kept him from drowning. Excerpts from their letters reveal how desperately Naipaul clung to her: "You saved me once, and it is from that rescue that I have been able to keep going - from Feb. 9 to today. I love you, and I need you. Please don't let me down. Please forgive my occasional lapses. At heart I am the worthiest man I know."

"The relationship began with Pat in the position of strength. Once they married and Naipaul began to publish his early books, the balance of power shifted decisively to him. Pat became his indispensable literary helper, his maid and cook, his mother, the object of his irritations, the traveling companion who never appears in any of his nonfiction. They had met as two highly repressed and untutored virgins, and a true sexual connection never formed. French places Naipaul's tormented sexuality at the center of his creative efforts, revealed in detail through various sources, above all Naipaul himself, without ever sinking into voyeurism or what Joyce Carol Oates called "pathography."

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