"VS Naipaul is tone deaf": Girish Karnad , Nov 2012
courtesy: 2006 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Wikipedia
This is so boring...an old man of 74 going at another of 80...Reminds me of Grampa Simpson's a nursing home.
To accompany this very old stuff, here is my old post dated January 28 2008:
""New Quest" is a quarterly journal of participative inquiry into society and culture, launched by the late A.B.Shah. The journal seeks to generate a serious debate on issues ranging across the humanities and social sciences. It also encourages literary contributions in the form of original as well as translated poetry and fiction.
Its hon. editor is Dilip Chitre.
Its latest issue no. 169 July-September 2007 carried my following letter.
Letters to the Editor
This refers to "Home truths" by V.S. Naipaul (India Today, September 10, 2007).
As exemplified by his book "India: A Wounded Civilization", Naipaul has understood many facets of our civilization quite well. But his problem, like most Western analysts of India, is that he does not read any native Indian language. That is a big handicap because India's best is expressed in its native languages.
Naipaul has clearly not read Vinoba Bhave's Marathi books. If he had, he probably would have still maintained his view of Bhave as a copycat Mahatma, but would have uttered a few nice words for Bhave as a writer. He would have realized why, along with the saint-poets, Vinoba is a rare 'best-selling' author in Marathi.
Naipaul says "(In India) literary criticism is still hardly known as an art". This is far from the truth. He should take the trouble to read Dilip Chitre's book on Tukaram ("Punha Tukaram", which is also available in English), Durga Bhagwat's commentary on the Mahabharata ("Vyas Parva”) or M.V. Dhond's criticism of B.S. Mardhekar's poetry.
Naipaul says that “Indian writers, to speak generally, seem to know only about their own families and their places of work". This may be true of R.K. Narayan or Vikram Seth but certainly not of Bhau Padhye, the original chronicler of Bombay (long before Vikram Chandra) in all its colours.
I agree with Naipaul that he is getting on. And like most old people he has nothing new to say.
The sixth episode of the The Simpsons' eighteenth season "Moe'n'a Lisa" has Jonathan Franzen fighting with Michael Chabon.
Franzen and Chabon are hysterical. They get in heated fight, Franzen breaks a table over Chabon's head, Chabon accuses him of fighting like Anne Rice...
Now imagine Karnad and Naipaul in the picture above.