Sunday, April 02, 2006


Nobel laureate and Booker winner VS Naipaul has laid into some of the titans of Eng Lit in this month's Literary Review. Hardy: "an unbearable writer... He can't write. He doesn't know how to compose a paragraph, no gift of narrative." Jane Austen: "Here am I, a grown man reading about this terrible vapid woman... What am I doing with this material? This is for somebody else, really..." Dickens: " much rubbish..." Henry James: "The worst writer in the world..." Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Graham Greene each get a chinning as well. Pinter comes off OK, but he's a mate of Sir Vidia's.

Expect a new book sometime soon. V's Half a Life came out in 2001, at around the same time he startled the book world from its tweedy slumbers by slagging off James Joyce.


VSnaipaulfanclub said...

what about 'Magic seeds?'

Tim Footman said...

Good point. Either this is a very late attempt to propel Magic Seeds (2004) back into the critical radar, or he already tried a critical hatchet job around that time, but it was so preposterous (Dan Brown better than Milton, maybe?) that nobody would publish it.

tom said...

those are fine quotes. i'd love to see them as blurbs on dust jackets. instead of "slams the reader like a torpedo" (really, on a tom clancy book) we could have "so much rubbish" - VS Naipaul.

Just as an art project it'd be fun to make up a bunch of covers like that - still wouldn't be half as funny as doggie-style britney, though :}