Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Beauty or Bend!
VS Naipaul can be difficult for any soul. His prose is generally terse and philosophical. His metaphors can leave you gasping. I picked up his A Bend in the River because I wanted to read something disparate after Dan's Da vinci code. The novel is set in Africa and Naipaul penned it in 1979. Thirty pages into BR and I gave up. Not that I won't read it. I might, perhaps later. My guess is that one can't read Naipaul leisurely in cabs and buses.
I love to read that way. In a busy work schedule you have no time otherwise.
Naipaul makes you think hard and deep. In the 30 odd pages of BR, I guess he uses the word Africa and Bush 50 times. Boondocks. I was almost transported to the bushes and deep into Africa when I decided I must come back and keep Naipaul for home. Relaxed and on your bed, with an air-conditioner purring, he can be better understood. A book has to be assimilated and doten on!
Naipaul is a great author. I don't agree with his strong, at times banal political views, but I love his prose.
I cannot reflect and do justice with his works in the grinding heat and grime of New Delhi's Auto's and oven-hot roads. Allan Hollinghurst will do. In fact, The Line of Beauty bagged Man Booker last summer.
I am already fimiliar with Nick.
Allan knows his readers!