Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Knight But No Gentleman

V.S. Naipaul is not a very nice man. Of course, if you've read his novels you may have suspected that, but this recent authorized biography shows that he wants us to know it.

His one-time friend and now-enemy Paul Theroux believes he may have been too kind to the old monster when he wrote about their feud:

Now French’s biography amply demonstrates everything I said and more. It is not a pretty story; it will probably destroy Naipaul’s reputation for ever, this chronicle of his pretensions, his whoremongering, his treatment of a sad, sick wife and disposable mistress, his evasions, his meanness, his cruelty amounting to sadism, his race baiting. Then there is the “gruesome sex”, the blame shifting, the paranoia, the disloyalty, the nasty cracks and the whining, the ingratitude, the mood swings, the unloving and destructive personality.

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