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Perhaps best known for his novel A Bend in the River V.S. Naipaul was a controversial figure in the literary world. The Nobel laureate died in his London home on Saturday, the author's agent told NPR. He was 85.
His wife Nadira Naipaul, who was at his side when he died, said he was "a giant in all that he achieved, and he died a life full of those whom he loved wonderful creativity and effort, "reports the Associated Press.
Naipaul's relationship with Trinidad, his birthplace, was nothing short of complicated. His grandparents emigrated from India as contract laborers, and Naipaul said he believed it was a mistake that he was born there. As he described to Trinidad in an 1994 NPR interview: "After the destruction of the indigenous people, there was wilderness, and then in this wilderness a plantation began, and I fear we have to think of this place, it can not be a land it imagines … Turkey is a country. "
But Naipaul's 1961 novel, A House for Mr Biswas, based on his father's life, presented a different view of Trinidad and the writer. New York book critic James Wood says: "It's extremely funny, it's really a comic book novel, it's a very tender letter to Trinidad, which makes it very clear that the childish Naipaul has gone around the island It's full of details It's really a poem on the island. "
Nevertheless, Naipaul did not want to be trapped in Trinidad like his father, so he sought and won a scholarship to Oxford. His early years in Britain were difficult; The writer suffered from depression and loneliness. Wood says a collection of Naipaul's letters home revealed what life was like for the young student: "Of course, there was still a lot of racism, and he very gently writes to his parents back in Trinidad about certain flaws that are being inflicted on him Oxford, and interestingly enough, he also talks in these letters about how he is determined to be in his class and to write better than any Englishman. "
When a collection of these letters was published in 2000, Naipaul said to NPR I did not believe in wallowing in the intense emotions of these early experiences. Instead, he used his writing to process those feelings.
"It's important to avoid the sink," he said. The reader feels: This is so personal, it has nothing to do with me. And the point about processing experience is trying to find the universal points take a step back. " the experience and see what's in it for other people. "
But these early emotional experiences Wood, according to Wood, wounded Naipaul. "I think the source of the wound was shame," says Wood, "and especially a kind of colonial shame." He says Naipaul is trapped between two worlds – the world of the colonizer and the colonized world – and his views on the colonized may be harsh – Naipaul has often been criticized for representing developing countries in his novels, he may have been wounded, but he has also been hurt. "" There was a lot of anger, "Wood says. and she took different forms Sometimes, you know, he would write about India or he would write about it Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…20&Itemid=32 detected he wrote with a kind of savagery and prejudice – sometimes even, I think, a degree of racism. "
Naipaul never really felt at home, and he wrote about it in his memoirs Half a Life .In this section he describes the horror of a first trip to a foreign land:
" He is with gone to the ship. And everything about the journey has so terrified him … that he was reluctant to speak, first out of pure worry and then, when he discovered that silence gave him strength, outside of politics. So he looked without trying to see and hear without hearing. "
After Wood, Naipaul's uprooting and dissatisfaction gave his writing an edge and an honesty that often led to greatness." There is something sharp, painful and everlasting interesting about a writer and a person who can not overcome those wounds and she can not heal and runs through the street, so to speak, the open and vulnerable wound. "And he says," And I think that's something that has remained true to his work and personality right to the end. "
Naipaul spent his last years with his second wife in the English countryside, far from his own Home of Trinidad.