V.S. Naipaul Quotes
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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.
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
One isn’t born one’s self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people’s ideas – and you have to work through it all.
Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.
It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That's where the mischief starts. That's where everything starts unravelling.
The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.
Home is, I suppose just a child's idea. A house at night, and a lamp in the house. A place to feel safe.
One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.
The world is always in movement.
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.
I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not.
An autobiography can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies: it reveals the writer totally.
After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.
If a writer doesn't generate hostility, he is dead.
I will say I am the sum of my books.
My life is short. I can't listen to banality.
Ignorant people in preppy clothes are more dangerous to America than oil embargoes.
The Europeans wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else; but at the same time they wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves.
And it was strange, I thought, that sorrow lasts and can make a man look forward to death, but the mood of victory fills a moment and then is over
Making a book is such a big enterprise.
But everything of value about me is in 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.
People come and go all the time; the world has always been in movement.
The melancholy thing about the world is that it is full of stupid people; and the world is run for the benefit of the stupid and common.
We cannot understand all the traits we have inherited. Sometimes we can be strangers to ourselves.
I'm thought to be a tough writer, but I'm really a softie.
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.
Some writers can only deal with childhood experience, because it's complete. For another kind of writer, life goes on, and he's able to keep processing that as well.
Many writers tend to write summing-up books at the end of their lives.
Everybody is interesting for an hour, but few people can last more than two.
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.
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.
The world outside existed in a kind of darkness; and we inquired about nothing.
In England people are very proud of being very stupid.
Life doesn't have a neat beginning and a tidy end; life is always going on. You should begin in the middle and end in the middle, and it should be all there.
I'm my own writer. My material means I'm entirely separate.
Trinidad may seem complex, but to anyone who knows it, it is a simple, colonial, philistine society.
It is important not to trust people too much.
When I learnt to write I became my own master, I became very strong, and that strength is with me to this very day.
Small things start us in new ways of thinking
What was past was past. I suppose that was the general attitude.
Writers should provoke disagreement.
Africa is not a fun place, you know. A fun place is somewhere that lifts the spirits, that cossets the senses. I don't think that can be said of the Africa I traveled in.
A civilization which has taken over the world cannot be said to be dying.
If ever you wish to meet intellectual frauds in quantity, go to Paris.
His ignorance seemed to widen with everything he read.
There are two ways of talking. One is the easy way, where you talk lightly, and the other one is the considered way. The considered way is what I have put my name to.
If writers just sit and talk about oppression, they are not going to do much writing.
If you decide to move to another country and to live within its laws you don't express your disregard for the essence of the culture. It's a form of aggression.
It isn't that there's no right and wrong here. There's no right.