An Area of Darkness is a book written by V. S. Naipaul in 1964. 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. In the years since he mellowed out, and also India's socio-economic situation changed considerably. In this travelogue Naipaul turns his gaze on a country he sees wallowing in squalor and split by caste divisions. 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. I look forward to reading the next two books. Item Price $ 18.00. When I started reading this book, it initially gave me an impression of a typical insight of a foreigner into India. he has been very honest to say the least. “An Area of Darkness” by V.S. This is an extraordinary dissection of India, and Indian society. Naipaul is an account of a year that he spent in India. And yet we also have masses of anglophone Pakistanis and Indians who rave abou, I approach Naipaul with trepidation. 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. -- quite funny in parts, like when he's trying not to overpay Kashmiri tour guides. 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. V. S Naipaul has always been a controversial figure. 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, 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. Naipaul offers a unique perspective of worlds beyond worlds. V. S. Naipaul's new book, An Area of Darkness, deserves to take its place as the third in this pantheon. July 9th 2002 We can see in retrospect that this judgement was a bit hasty. 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. 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. The narration is anecdotal and descriptive. You. But one is moved to accept it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Born in Trinidad, the grandson of a brahmin immigrant, he exemplifies the constant, dull, poignant unease of flimsy, shallow postcolonial roots triply severed from a childhood in Trinidad, a garbled, crumbling heritage from India foisted on a child that knew no better and a half-hearted yearning for an England that never was: I approach Naipaul with trepidation. He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose. I would never want to read this book again, nor would I recommend it to others unless they knew what they were getting into--but the endless historical essays on caste and English colonialization did eventually end, and did lead into a really interesting place for Naipaul. 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. 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. Naipaul to the lake with me. ... 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 … Such uneasiness about one’s cultural moorings may be seen as an act of assertion, of the need for … It was the first of Naipaul's acclaimed Indian trilogy which includes India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now.The narration is anecdotal and descriptive. Journal of South Asian Literature. 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. It is not a hands-off review of a weird and hopeless nation but a concerned critique of a staggering civilization. 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. A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V.S. Banned in India and still banned over fifty years later. 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. V.S. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. It is an emotional travelogue written during his first visit to India in 1964. I kept wanting to get outside of VSN's head, to have some kind of relief, objectivity, that was never really forthcoming, that maybe by the nature of a book like this can't be forthcoming? etc. It is ultimately a way of looking. Second time round, and good 10 years after I first read it An Area of Darkness surprised me more than I expected. Incredibly well-written, as Naipaul's books usually are, but bleak and typically bilious. It's not a genre I normally read, but I did own it, and having it I decided to give it a try. Literature’s light in an area of darkness, V S Naipaul dies at 85 These were stories of homecoming, by a writer who was uneasy in his ancestral home. Naipaul. To the shock of many I was underwhelmed and even irritated by A Bend in the River which on which I have shared my two cents elsewhere, This is a book that heartily annoyed me as I read it, but the last 60 pages changed my tune. 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. 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. Naipaul caustically spins out, at arm´s distance, in silky, spidery prose, his accumulated frustrations, bitterness and resentments. He is unsparingly critical in his assessment. That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights... To see what your friends thought of this book. Afterwards, I went on to buy every book he's written, even hunting down a copy of his long out of print first collection Black Altars . What follows is a relentless sojourn of rapid disillusionment and bucketloads of bitterness-soaked critique. We’d love your help. You really can't go home. Review: Written in Darkness by Mark Samuels I've been a fan of Mark Samuels ever since I read The White Hands in early 2013. 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? He depicts India as a grotesque dystopia, doomed by its fatalism to eternal misery. etc. -- quite funny in parts, like when he's trying not to overpay Kashmiri tour guides. 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. 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. Add to cart Buy Now Add to Wishlist Remove from Wishlist. “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 Criticism Naipaul s visit to India was the first time he returned to his roots and had a chance to examine his heritage. Ezekiel, Nissim. Naipaul offers a unique perspective of worlds beyond worlds. 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. 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. V.S. You resist that truth but are forced to acknowledge it as well. 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. An Area of Darkness (Book) : Naipaul, V. 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