Saturday, August 18, 2007

Make it new (again)

"I think it is possible that talent has moved to other things" he says, "and that real writing is occurring elsewhere, rather than in novels. You have to be very clear about the material that possesses you, and you've got to find the correct form for it. You can't borrow somebody else's form, otherwise you can easily end up with absurdities like, shall we say, the story of a New Guinea chieftain cast in the form of a George Eliot narrative. One narrative goes with a particular kind of life, a particular moment in history; another narrative comes at another time, and you have to find the correct one. The one that feels true to you. Not the one that they teach you about. The minute that you can be taught about something, you know it's not real. All writing has to be new."
VS Naipaul in a Sunday Times interview, 8th May 1994.


  1. Anonymous7:57 pm

    I like this quote very much.

  2. Good. I found it on page 2 of an old notebook. There are 54 more pages with so many more I wanted to copy!

    Anyway, I wonder if Naipaul equates the novel with fiction?



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