Naipaul to the lake with me. To venture among a people, to talk to them, to find out everyday drama, to unearth "suppressed histories" (a term used by the Nobel committee), and to ultimately look... from a certain vantage point that kept changing over the years. V. S Naipaul has always been a controversial figure. The episode at the end, when he visits his forebears' village, is hauntingly moving and, like the rest of the book, not quite what we expect! The result may be the most elegant and passionate book ever written about the subcontinent. But one is moved to accept it. He seems to possess an uncanny ability to dive deep into the collective impulses of a complex society, and emerge with insights that speak directly, forcefully. I’d read Naipaul's India Trilogy when I was in my late teens and at that young age, it did fill me up with profound hatred for the writer who in my opinion was spewing venom against my beloved country. He was being metaphorical. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. lots of perfectly formed sentences in between.all of which are on display in this book that to me seems to be more about naipaul than about india. One of my chief complaints with the book as I read was that Naipaul kept himself aloof, that so much of the book was abstract histori. Overall the ending was very moving and very powerful. can see that overwhelming reality of circadian Indian existence—and what lies beneath it—and articulate it so well is not easy to accept perhaps. According to an old book written in Coptic language, the jar should contain an evil force: one by one, the researches are infected by the liquid and start dreaming about the Antichrist who's threating the whole humanity. When you listen to a story or read a book, most of the time you'll come away with some kind of impression of the general feel of the story. This is an utterly devastating and honest look at India, and the Indian psyche/Weltanschauung, told through the narrative device of the writer, a Trinidad-Indian, returning to the country of his forefathers. The last 60 pages, however, were almost entirely of Naipaul's experience and dealt with the real people he met and the terrible misunderstandings he had. His scatological horror conception of India, though it's pretty arresting and incisive re: postcolonial trauma and personal self-loathing and horror, also made this a difficult book to get through, though I think worth it in the end. (1976) “Naipaul‟s India and mine ”. In the preface to the edition I read (from 2010) he lets his readers know that his bad mood during at least the first part of the book was due to a creative crisis he was going through at the time – this might be true, or it might be not; but in any case, it reminds us that, even though. Add to Cart Buy Now Add to Wishlist. One of my chief complaints with the book as I read was that Naipaul kept himself aloof, that so much of the book was abstract historical essay instead of real stories of his travels. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Written during the demoralizing conflict with China in 1962, this is the first of V S Naipaul's trilogy on India and his second major work of non-fiction. etc. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. he explains the modern Indian psyche very well! And that is exactly what he masterfully succeeds at doing. It was the first of Naipaul's acclaimed Indian trilogy which includes India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now. V.S. The book is realistic but sympathetic. An area of darkness by NAIPAUL, V.S. A combination of misanthropy; sweeping observations about an entire people based on limited and selective exposure and negligible background study; a warped complexity and narrow-mindedness; unadulterated Islamophobia; and, a propensity at times to dully describe dull things in long, dull passages have to my mind characterized non-fiction produced in the later stages of his career. It is not a hands-off review of a weird and hopeless nation but a concerned critique of a staggering civilization. Naipaul has written of the idea . After 12 years in London, and possibly in an attempt to regain some sense of his own roots, he decided to take a sabbatical year in India in 1962. I ran into a copy of VS Naipaul's An Area of Darkness in a bookshop over the weekend. Incredibly well-written, as Naipaul's books usually are, but bleak and typically bilious. To know Indians was to take a delight in people as people; every encounter was an adventure. To venture among a people, to talk to them, to find out everyday drama, to unearth "suppressed histories" (a term used by the Nobel committee), and to ultimately look... from a certain vantage point that kept changing over the years. Second time round, and good 10 years after I first read it An Area of Darkness surprised me more than I expected. Vintage Books, 1981, 282 pages. I took V.S. A combination of misanthropy; sweeping observations about an entire people based on limited and selective exposure and negligible background study; a warped complexity and narrow-mindedness; unadulterated Islamophobia; and, a propensity at times to dully describe dull things in long, dull passages have to my mind characterized non-fiction produced in the later stages of his career. When I started reading this book, it initially gave me an impression of a typical insight of a foreigner into India. An Area of Darkness (Book) : Naipaul, V. S. 1932-2018 : A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. I read this while I visited India, and read about the Bhagirath only a few days after experiencing it in Delhi. But one is moved to accept it. can see that overwhelming reality of circadian Indian existence—and what lies beneath it—and articulate it so well is not easy to accept perhaps. Your price $8.99 USD. ... to trust to the stars in which the fortunes of all are written and to regard the progress of the rest of the world with the … ... even now, being said and written about the impact of COVID-19 on mindsets and on how it is driving behavioural change. His scatological horror conception of India, though it's pretty arresting and incisive re: postcolonial trauma and personal self-loathing and horror, also made this a difficult book to get through, though I think worth it in the end. An Area of Criticism Naipaul s visit to India was the first time he returned to his roots and had a chance to examine his heritage. And yet we also have masses of anglophone Pakistanis and Indians who rave abou, I approach Naipaul with trepidation. There was a chunk in the middle of the book where Naipaul stayed at a particular hotel and got to know the people there, which was really intriguing, but otherwise I was dead bored. The difficulty arises from the undeniable truth in what Mr Naipaul writes. The writing and the thinking aren't as tightly controlled, which risks melodrama. There is anger, there is resentment, stupefaction, disbelief, disgust, yet there is awe. In the years since he mellowed out, and also India's socio-economic situation changed considerably. It describes his first journey to the country of his ancestors, which was evidently a very emotive experience for the author, and therefore, the writer could not remain unmoved. It… Read more. An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India by Naipaul, V.S. Add to cart Buy Now Add to Wishlist Remove from Wishlist. After reading so much of his later stuff, it's a relief to turn to his earlier work, when he was funnier, more enthusiastic and more expansive. I was hoping for a portrait of India, instead I got a portrait of an arrogant, racist, insufferable man. This is an extraordinary dissection of India, and Indian society. That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights... To see what your friends thought of this book. It was worth it. V. S. Naipaul's new book, An Area of Darkness, deserves to take its place as the third in this pantheon. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. he has been very honest to say the least. Naipaul and Nirad Chaudhary were the two literary villains I grew up with, though my impression of Nirad Chaudhary being utterly devoid of depth, remained the same but as I grew older, I started to admire the faculty of observation Naipaul was gifted with and also by his fearlessness to write exactly what he observed. It differs from its predecessors, each written shortly after Independence, in that it records a contemporary India, the India of Nehru's last years, of the Sino-Indian border dispute. And it is a stern gaze, not given to sentiments or available narratives, always scrutinizing, and at times wicked (which may have caused outrage when this book came out). For all his genius, he also remains a vilified figure in India and not without reason. Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. Naipaul offers a unique perspective of worlds beyond worlds. “An Area of Darkness” by V.S. I sat in a lawn chair with my feet in the water. Naipaul is an account of a year that he spent in India. Of course the India of over a half century ago is different from today's, but in these pages we learn a lot about what it means to be human and about what we take for granted as "human" that is more cultural. Welcome back. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published What I was interested in discussing though was how the India described in the book, the India of … Observation was a key to Naipaul's oeuvre. Buy the eBook. Heart of Darkness. But it … A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V.S. Interestingly, it was banned on the subcontinent for a 'negative portrayal of India and its people', earning the special distinction of a bad book review from a sovereign nation. this turn of phrase here. Whether it is for his rude behaviour towards fellow writers at conferences or his show of support for India's Hindutva ring, Bharatiya Janata Party or his admission in his autobiography that his callousness killed his wife, this Trinidadian author has always been some sort of an enfant terrible of English literature. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. I wanted to run through the whole trilogy at once, but the depth of what is in here makes me want to reach for something lighter now. In this travelogue Naipaul turns his gaze on a country he sees wallowing in squalor and split by caste divisions. It is a travelogue detailing Naipaul's trip through India in the early sixties. [1] Nissim Ezekiel wrote the 1984 essay "Naipaul's India and Mine" as a reply to Naipaul's An Area of Darkness. In the years since he mellowed out, and also India's socio-economic situation changed considerably. In his native Trinidad Naipaul had always somehow been of India without being Indian. User area. An Area of Darkness Quotes Showing 1-5 of 5 “Out of its squalor and human decay, its eruptions of butchery, India produced so many people of grace and beauty, ruled by elaborate courtesy. Widely criticized for its negativity, this book actually shines in darkness. You resist that truth but are forced to acknowledge it as well. I did not want India to sink [out of my memory]; the mere thought was painful.”, “It is well that Indians are unable to look at their country directly, for the distress they would see would drive them mad. When I heard the news of Naipaul’s demise, I decided to reread his India Trilogy as a tribute to the great writer. For all his genius, he also remains a vilified figure in India and not without reason. What follows is a relentless sojourn of rapid disillusionment and bucketloads of bitterness-soaked critique. Phew. V.S. Observation was a key to Naipaul's oeuvre. An Area of Darkness also abounds with Naipaul's strikingly original responses to India's paralyzing caste system, its apparently serene acceptance of poverty and squalor, and the conflict between its desire for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. Nowhere were people so heightened, rounded and individualistic; nowhere did they offer themselves so fully and with such assurance. An Area of Darkness also abounds with Naipaul's strikingly original responses to India's paralyzing caste system, its apparently serene acceptance of poverty and squalor, and the conflict between its desire for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. And it is well that they have no sense of history, for how then would they be able to continue to squat amid their ruins, and which Indian would be able to read the history of his country for the last thousand years without anger and pain? that most appropriate word there. Item Price $ 18.00. If one can imagine the difficulties Naipaul suffers now in a period in which the principle of 'free speech' is being eroded by nice white people to 'you can say what you like as long as we agree with it', it speaks buckets for this book that he experienced the 'censorship of the offended' the very moment it appeared. Naipaul and Nirad Chaudhary were the two literary villains I grew up with, though my impression of Nirad Chaudhary being utterly devoid of depth, remained the same but as I grew older, I started to admire the faculty of observation Naipaul was gifted with and also by his fearlessness to write exac. But it's entertaining to catch him here in his younger days. Otherwise it is a complete waste of time. Producing too much life, it denied the value of life; yet it permitted a unique human development to so many. Producing too much life, it denied the value of life; yet it permitted a unique human development to so many. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland. As an Indian raised in Trinidad and educated in the UK, he planned a tour of his "homeland" that gives us the impressions of an outsider often invisible as an outsider to the people among whom he moves. He's self-aware enough to find the humor in his constant disgust/snobbery/irritation, and he's good at choosing just the right details to convey the sense of a place. Seller ThriftBooks Published 1966 Condition Good Item Price But it's entertaining to catch him here in his younger days. This book is beautiful but also makes me really personally sad for VS Naipaul? Whether it is for his rude behaviour towards fellow writers at conferences or his show of support for India's Hindutva ring, Bharatiya Janata Party or his admission in his autobiography that his callousness killed his wife, this Trinidadian author has always been some sort of an enfant terrible of English literature. It is uncomfortable: that someone (an outsider?) This book is the fruit of that year. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. He writes of his journey and experiences in An Area of Darkness in great detail, at times seemingly mocking the Indian culture to a great degree. by Vintage. Naipaul. We’d love your help. V. S Naipaul‘s An area of darkness – A discovery of India is the first of his acclaimed Indian trilogy.It is an emotional travelogue written during his first visit to India in 1964. There was a time when I loathed Naipaul, wondering how someone never born and brought up in India can pass such judgements on her so unabatedly, but of course I was naive. The Overcrowded Barracoon and Other Articles, The Return of Eva Peron and the Killings in Trinidad, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=An_Area_of_Darkness&oldid=988372834, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 November 2020, at 19:50. Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul TC (/ ˈ v ɪ d j ɑː d ər ˌ s uː r ə dʒ p r ə ˈ s ɑː d ˈ n aɪ p ɔː l, n aɪ ˈ p ɔː l /; 17 August 1932 – 11 August 2018), most commonly known as V. S. Naipaul, and informally, Vidia Naipaul, was a Trinidad and Tobago-born British writer of works of fiction and nonfiction in English. Naipaul died in late summer this year and I bought these books on the day of his demise but I could not start the trilogy till November, but finally have been able to complete it now. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. It is an emotional travelogue written during his first visit to India in 1964. In the recent Dhaka lit fest, he mentioned that the three books on India are not a journey into the development of a nation but into the development of a writer. Myanmar: An area of darkness The patterns of violence associated with the country’s several subnational conflicts are varied Myanmar The United Wa State Army battling the Myanmar government has the capacity to mobilise as many as 30,000 troops , Reuters Naipaul laments throughout as to how the Indians as a people are incapable of truly looking at themselves and society, as it exists in the here and now. Refresh and try again. You really can't go home. it takes a special genius to damn a country for it's climate ALSO. “Out of its squalor and human decay, its eruptions of butchery, India produced so many people of grace and beauty, ruled by elaborate courtesy. An Area of Darkness Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at AbeBooks.com. A deeply pessimistic work, An Area of Darkness conveys the acute sense of disillusionment which the author experiences on his first visit to his ancestral land. Naipaul offers a unique perspective of worlds beyond worlds. ... or simply because it is written by Naipaul. ... “Prince of Darkness” Quotes 10 quotes This may be the most elegant and passionate book ever written about the subcontinent. He was being metaphorical. -- quite funny in parts, like when he's trying not to overpay Kashmiri tour guides. In the recent Dhaka lit fest, he mentioned that the three books on India are not a journey into the development of a nation but into the development of a writer. Naipaul's first trip to India -- he's appalled by the filth, poverty, etc. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. It is better to retreat into fantasy and fatalism, to trust to the stars in which the fortunes of all are written”, The (Conde Nast) 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time, Readers' Most Anticipated Books of December. It is ultimately a way of looking. Such uneasiness about one’s cultural moorings may be seen as an act of assertion, of the need for … Traveling from the bureaucratic morass of Bombay to the ethereal beauty of Kashmir, from a sacred ice cave in the Himalayas to an abandoned temple near Madras, Naipaul … a brutal criticism of India. Reading this book is a starting point of understanding India. An Area of Darkness is a book written by V. S. Naipaul in 1964. An area of darkness? And yet we also have masses of anglophone Pakistanis and Indians who rave about his work, especially his earlier work. The Area of Darkness, when it was publish. 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