Wednesday, March 29, 2006

V.S.Naipaul Flays Dickens, Austen and James

V.S. Naipaul, a knight and holder of the Nobel Prize for Literature, has attacked English writers like Charles Dickens and Jane Austen for being too parochial, concerned only with English themes.

"English writing is very much of England, and is not meant to travel too far," he said.

Naipaul, himself notably cosmopolitan - of Indian descent, brought up in Trinidad, educated in England, and impeccably well-travelled - has previously attacked James Joyce ("I cannot understand the work of a blind man"), E.M Forster (went to India to seduce gardeners' boys; Passage to India has "only one real scene"), and Indian writers, for their stifling obsession with oppression and suchlike faddish nonsense.

It would be better for literature if more writers were as outspoken as V.S. Naipaul.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Naipaul attacks literary giants

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