Magazine September 10, 2018, Issue

The World as Vidia Saw It

V. S. Naipaul (Roman Genn)
In memory of my friend V. S. Naipaul

Literary London is a rather small village in which everyone knows the color of the curtains and the politics of everyone else. In the early 1960s a newcomer from Trinidad with the exotic name of Vidia Naipaul moved in. Probably nobody in the literary village could have placed the island of Trinidad accurately on the map, but they could recognize talent. Vidia’s early novels The Mystic Masseur and The Suffrage of Elvira are comedies with a center of satire, very similar to Evelyn Waugh’s early novels. Anthony Powell’s novels also treat comedy as the way to be serious. A literary

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Poetry

“Last night, the winds went wild at war, their gusts and gales made chaos swarm, and then . . . they weren’t there anymore.”

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