I came to London. It had become the center of my world and I had worked hard to come to it. And I was lost.
Ignorant people in preppy clothes are more dangerous to America than oil embargoes.
I am the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.
This is unusual for me. I have given readings and not lectures. I have told people who ask for lectures that I have no lecture to give. And that is true.
All the details of the life and the quirks and the friendships can be laid out for us, but the mystery of the writing will remain. No amount of documentation, however fascinating, can take us there.
But everything of value about me is in my books.
An autobiography can distort, facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies. It reveals the writer totally.
The world is always in movement.
What was past was past. I suppose that was the general attitude.
Each book, intuitively sensed and, in the case of fiction, intuitively worked out, stands on what has gone before, and grows out of it. I feel that at any stage of my literary career it could have been said that the last book contained all the others.
The biography of a writer - or even the autobiography - will always have this incompleteness.
That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing. It is my way of judging what I am doing - which is never an easy thing to do.
I will say I am the sum of my books.
Argentine political life is like the life of an ant community or an African forest tribe: full of events, full of crisis and deaths, but life is always cyclical, and the year ends as it begins.
To read a newspaper for the first time is like coming into a film that has been on for an hour. Newspapers are like serials. To understand them you have to take knowledge to them . . . best is the knowledge provided by the newspaper itself.
In Trinidad, where as new arrivals we were a disadvantaged community, that excluding idea was a kind of protection; it enabled us - for the time being, and only for the time being - to live in our own way and according to our own rules, to live in our own fading India.
Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn't fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will - with luck - come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise.
The reason is that they define how I have gone about my business. I have trusted to intuition. I did it at the beginning. I do it even now. I have no idea how things might turn out, where in my writing I might go next.
One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.
It was a good place for getting lost in, a city no one ever knew, a city explored from the neutral heart outward, until after many years, it defined itself into a jumble of clearings separated by stretches of the unknown, through which the narrowest of paths had been cut.
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
As a child I knew almost nothing, nothing beyond what I had picked up in my grandmother's house. All children, I suppose, come into the world like that, not knowing who they are.
The world outside existed in a kind of darkness; and we inquired about nothing.
I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.
We made no inquiries about India or about the families people had left behind. When our ways of thinking had changed, and we wished to know, it was too late. I know nothing of the people on my father's side; I know only that some of them came from Nepal.
More V. S. Naipaul Quotations (Based on Topics)
Books - Writing - People - World - Life - Idea - Education - Time - Reading - Attitude - Mystery - Value - Cities - Reasoning - Past - Man - Intuition - Facts - Wisdom & Knowledge - View All V. S. Naipaul Quotations
Paulo Coelho - Leo Tolstoy - Ernest Hemingway - V. S. Naipaul - Miguel de Cervantes - Katherine Dunn - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Anne Bronte - Alexander Solzehnitsyn - Aldous Huxley