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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

VS Naipaul finds no woman writer his literary match – not even Jane Austen

42 replies

msrisotto · 03/06/2011 21:50

I could have just called the thread "What a twat"

How arrogant can you get? I can't imagine even coming close to such levels of twattery.

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msrisotto · 03/06/2011 21:50
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ohmyfucksy · 03/06/2011 21:54

Well I find his books massively tedious, so who cares?

Not bothered about Jane Austen myself though - much prefer George Eliot.

msrisotto · 03/06/2011 21:59

I haven't read any of his books, maybe he's just acting out because she's way more famous than he is.

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ohmyfucksy · 03/06/2011 22:02

Doris Lessing beats him in The Times's 50 greatest British writers list.

BeerTricksPotter · 03/06/2011 22:03

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Prolesworth · 03/06/2011 22:03

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piprabbit · 03/06/2011 22:04

I think the least said about Mr Naipaul, the better. He seems to enjoy the attention and I don't suppose he is in the least concerned about the opinions of a bunch of women.

Hassled · 03/06/2011 22:07

His spat with Theroux has entertained me - although they apparently shook hands recently.

I'm too much of a Janeite to be dispassionate - but I can't see that she was ever sentimental. She was a realist - realism disguised by the love story.

hogsback · 03/06/2011 22:08

The thing to bear in mind with VS Naipaul is that, along with the vast majority of 'literary' authors, he's a massive egotistical cock.

DaisyHayes · 03/06/2011 22:09

Bidisha wrote an article (last December, so totally unrelated to this current woman hating shit) in which she describes:

"V S Naipaul, who I witnessed at a book reading openly jeering at any woman who asked a question about his work, a male colleague said, 'Yes, he was a rotter to women wasn?t he but my God, what wonderful, wonderful books.'?

Why does the man keep getting oxygen from the media? Oh yes, I forgot. It's okay to think of women as a lesser species.

The fact that Naipaul is an enormous misogynistic cock is bad enough, but it is the fact that it is tolerated - celebrated - by the media which sickens me.

SybilBeddows · 03/06/2011 22:16

so does he think he is better than George Eliot? LOL.

hogsback · 03/06/2011 22:21

I used to get really upset about Naipaul, Amis and the rest of the lauded literary classes. Then I realised I didn't actually enjoy reading their books, I just did it out of force of habit - and guess what, no-one else reads them either; they exist in a tiny literary wankfest which only a handful of broadsheet cheerleaders give two fucks about.

I now only read genre (scifi, fantasy and historical mainly) and I'm a lot happier.

StewieGriffinsMom · 03/06/2011 22:25

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ohmyfucksy · 03/06/2011 22:32

true hogsback

One of my favourite ever writer quotes was by Martina Cole, who said the Booker prize money wouldn't keep her in cigarettes.

I have never read her books, and they're probably not my kind of thing (am squeamish) but I LOVED that.

claig · 03/06/2011 22:37

I've never read him. But I agree that George Eliot is fantastic, and I bet he comes nowhere near.

Daisy Hayes is right. The media constantly boosts him up, and it has evidently gone to his head and he actually believes it. The Gods have messed with his mind and this is an example of hubris.

beanlet · 03/06/2011 22:39

Ignore. He's also an out and out racist. Comes across as a complete dickhead. Think his books are tendentious ru bish too.

SybilBeddows · 03/06/2011 22:42

I have read a little bit of Naipaul but it was not so amazing as to make me want to read more, when there is so much other good stuff out there.
Some Amis is good but much isn't worth bothering with. I think Hogsback is right, it is an incestuous world where they boost each other up all the time and maintain their delusion that they are better than everyone else especially women.

'Sentimental' is an incredibly inept thing for him to say about Austen but then I guess he doesn't get her because her perspective is so feminine and he is only interested in the mighty male viewpoint which has convinced itself it is universal.

dittany · 03/06/2011 22:48

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claig · 03/06/2011 22:51

Has he ever written a book that can compare with 'Wuthering Heights', 'Middlemarch' or 'Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus'? - I thought not. Could he ever match the wit of Dorothy Parker? - He knows he can't. Will he ever achieve the fame of Agatha Christie? - Never.

No wonder he is so bitter in his overestimation of his worth.

TheCrackFox · 03/06/2011 22:52

I've never read any of his books but now I know that they don't sound like they are worth the effort anyway.

Threadworm8 · 03/06/2011 22:54

It's funny, really. You would expect male novelists to be quite a sensitive lot, more of what gets called 'feminine' than the average man. But the opposite is true if anything. There is such a parade of hypermacho cockwaving, especially in America. The image of the Great American Novelist is hypermale. I wonder how much of it has to do with the dynamics of marketing.

claig · 03/06/2011 23:14

I saw a programme about that once, and I seem to remember that it implied that you are right and that some of these writers therefore sought to overcompensate by acting more macho. They mentioned Hemingway and Mailer. I don't know enough about them, so I can't really say.

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie · 03/06/2011 23:17

Tosser - I am the 'original' Janeite (it used to be my name on here once upon a moon ago) and I am yet to encounter a male writer who can come close to her wit, style, dialogue and sheer ability to carry a plot without having to take refuge in violence or poncery.

blackcurrants · 04/06/2011 03:57

Pffah! (only response I can muster to VS - a perfectly decent writer IMHO - thinking he could ever get close to the brilliance of Jane Austen.)


What toss.

AyeRobot · 04/06/2011 07:21

He doesn't like women very much, does he?

From Wikipedia: "Naipaul was married to Englishwoman Patricia Hale for 41 years, until her death due to cancer in 1996. According to an authorized biography by Patrick French, the two shared a close relationship when it came to Naipaul's work?Pat was a sort of unofficial editor for Naipaul?but the marriage was not a happy one in other respects. Naipaul regularly visited prostitutes in London, and later had a long-term abusive affair with another married woman, Margaret Gooding, which his wife was aware of. Describing his physical treatment of Gooding, Naipaul told French, "I was very violent with her for two days. I was very violent with her for two days with my hand. My hand began to hurt." Of this side to their relationship, Gooding said, "Vidia says I didn?t mind the abuse. I certainly did mind." Prior to Hale's death, Naipaul proposed to Nadira Naipaul, a divorced Pakistani journalist, born Nadira Khannum Alvi. They were married two months after Hale's death, at which point Naipaul also abruptly ended his affair with Gooding. "

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