The Best Quotes From V.S. Naipaul
Although I’m really enjoying A House for Mr. Biswas, I haven’t had a lot of good things to say about V.S. Naipaul as a person (although his Nobel speech was pretty awesome).
But let’s face it–no matter what you or I think about him as a person, he’s an amazing writer, and he actually has a lot of amazing insight as well.
I try to talk about the good and the bad of each author and book I cover, even though it’s often slanted in one direction or the other. So, today, instead of focusing on the crappy things V.S. Naipaul has said (of which there are many, and of which I will talk about more), let’s focus on some of his more positive and insightful quotes.
“The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.”
“Non-fiction can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies.”
“If ever you wish to meet intellectual frauds in quantity, go to Paris.”
“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.”
“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.”
“My life is short. I can’t listen to banality.”
“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.”
“One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.”
“If writers just sit and talk about oppression, they are not going to do much writing.”
“A cat only has itself.”
I wish I knew where that cat quote came from. Would love to see the context. I’m just trusting the fine folks at Brainy Quote that Naipaul actually said it. Naive, I suppose.
Good quotes, though.
I’ll post some of the ridiculous, asinine things Naipual has said next week.