V.S. Naipaul on India

Is anyone into a regular book thingy? It would be really classy and junk. We could all talk about what we’ve been reading, if anything.

Beyond the brown hills were smaller towns and the thousand villages that made up the constituency, each village as fragmented and ordered as Ajmer itself; every man in his caste, his community, his clan: divisions not strictly racial and not strictly social: more as if, in an English village, where everyone more or less looked alike, spoke the same language and had the same religion, every man yet remembered that he was a Dane or Saxon or Jute and stuck to his kind.

Just seems interesting, that’s all. Naipaul is a corrosive personality and writer – I don’t mean that as a criticism, at least not the latter bit – but what if he’s right? What if everything we value is just sentimentality superimposed on grottiness? After all, just because something’s old doesn’t make it meaningful. Maybe it’s just been around too long. What if that’s the Great Secret to most of history?

Eh, probably not worth a post. I’d appreciate comments, anyway. What have you been reading? And should we do a regular book thingy?

  • I have been fascinated by Naipaul in the past. Have not read any recently. This is evocative stuff- draws out one of the cultural reasons why (at least in the past) English villages gave rise to people who could find greater order and motivations in their world.

    I have just finished Eichman Before Jerusalem by Bettina Stangneth- a towering work that had me transfixed. Maybe I’ll do a post on that…

  • El Martyachi

    I dunno Mambs, the whole thing seems kinda highbrow. And I’ve not been reading enough, as usual. But I’m in, as usual.

    • Yeah. The pressure of producing a book post every week might be too much for me.

      • El Martyachi

        In allsome seriousness, this is probably the wrong venue. Not for lack of interested readers, but due to the fast rate of posts knocking the book one off the radar too quickly. It’s probably not worth it.

  • infedel

    pfft..West rules.

  • john s

    Where I grew up in Canada we all spoke English and we’re Christians and we all remembered where we pwere from and kept mainly to our own. It lasted for two generations for what I can tell. It wasn’t all that bad by the way.

  • john s

    I read the Internet nowadays. A decade or two of video games and the fast forward button on my remote have worn my attention span to a nub.

  • Hi, Black Mamba. I read several books at a time, always. History, Philosophy, Religion, Linguistics, etc. I haven’t read a novel in decades, don’t have the patience to get into imaginary worlds.

    Book just finished a few days ago: Simon Winchester, The Meaning of Everything, The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Quite enjoyable.

    Book I am most into right now is: Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism (I’ve read it before, but having lately read a few books on this same subject, I decided to re-read it, to get a more historical-critical perspective).

    I invite you all to read one of my many books. See here: http://avi-sion.blogspot.ch/ You can buy them in Amazon.

  • Xavier

    Just sticky a 1984 thread. Or the Quran.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Just do it.
    If we don’t like it, you will know. 🙂

  • Sounds like a good idea. Black Mamba.

  • Blacksmith

    I read technical books and fiction. I seldom read anything of substance, sometime historical works so it would probably educate me somewhat.

  • Clink9

    Bring it on Mamba.
    I usually read non fiction but this could force me to bust out.
    Like this Christmas I burned through The Martian. Very fun read.

  • Spatchcocked

    Rereading Scoop. A very very funny book….and illustrative that the MSM have been at their evil occasions for rather a long time.
    Hitchens thought Lucky Jim was the funniest book in the English language. I disagree….Jakes Thing was easily twice as amusing.

    But Scoop wins the wooden spoon…..Waugh was such a hater. I applaud that nth degree of disgust…..and a stylist with such form and stamina.

  • Spatchcocked

    In Brideshead Waugh describes his ADC/corporal who is named Hooper.
    The passage describing the Age of Hooper …..Hoopers deficiencies delinquencies and deformations are exactly what we see missing in our own age among our fellow citizens. I find it so sad making but so true. Makes a guy want to throw the towel in and run amok……everything is equal to everything else so of course there is no sterling standard …..nought to inspire , nought to aspire to.

  • Jay Currie

    Just finished volume 1 of Anthony Powell’s Journals. Before that Hilary Spurling’s biography of Paul Scott. Just got Jan Morris’ Fisher’s Face.

    Let’s go.