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Literary Occasions: Essays

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul brings his signature gifts of observation, his ferocious impatience with received truths, and his masterfully condensed prose to these eleven essays on reading, writing, and identity—which have been brought together for the first time.
Here the subject is Naipaul’s literary evolution: the books that delighted him as a child; the books he wrote a
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ebook, 240 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by Vintage (first published 2003)
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John Nelson
V.S. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. In 2003, he published this collection of essays, which focus on the process by which he became a writer.

The essays are very well written, as one would expect. They reveal an unusual man: one who claims he wanted to be a writer from the time he was a small child, though he did not try to actually write anything when he was young. The author also claims he was not much of a reader when he was in school, and had no affinity for or understand
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Amanda Patterson
I picked up this book with hesitation. A writer writing about himself and his writing? I wasn’t sure. And to make matters worse, I don’t like Naipul’s books. Would it be self-serving or egotistical? Or just plain dull?
It wasn’t.
Naipaul has pulled off something special with this slim volume. Every author going through the writing journey will see the self-doubt that accompanies that fierce drive to write, the wonder of the writing process and the acceptance of the talent and the acknowledgement o
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James Igoe
From what I have read about him, Naipaul is a harsh person, so I approached this cautiously, but I found his prose thoroughly enjoyable, although I have currently shelved his fiction writing. I was interested in his perceptions as an outsider, an Indian immigrant in Trinidad, and then later as an immigrant to England on scholarship. In this I was completely gratified, as I felt it worked the empathy muscles extensively, expressed in clear prose.
Carlos Rubens
Sir Vidia Naipaul shares a very honest approach of his background Trinidad and reports on the efforts for discovering the real motivation for a mysterious wish of becoming a writer. For prospecting writers, enthusiasts of Naipaul in general and those who read "The Writer and the World" essays, this will be delightful reading indeed
Quân Khuê
"I didn’t feel competent as a reader until I was twenty-five."
Mike
At first I thought of Aristotle's "Poetics", then I did not know what to think as the author seemed to be indulging in a lot of self analysis. I guess his comments about being a colonial from a place of little or no consequence were insightful. I believe that he was overstepping with regard to some of his interpretations of the thoughts and actions of others. His seemingly never ending discussion of Indian authors certainly affirmed my ignorance. Perhaps a writer needs to dissect the work of oth ...more
Molly
Dec 08, 2007 Molly rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: colonials
Interesting to see him riff over and on how his childhood shaped his career, and interesting to learn about the way Trinidad's population was shaped, but a pretty poor excuse for a book. Maybe it is like Prince and he had some contract he was trying to finish.
Amber
Meh, what was this. Some forewords to other stuff. Appropriate academic or fanboy reading: it left me cold.
Cami Hamilton
May 28, 2011 Cami Hamilton is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
recommended by Doyald Young
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  • Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments
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  • Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
  • The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
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  • Back to Wando Passo: A Novel
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  • As One Is: To Free the Mind from All Conditioning
  • Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page
  • Whatever It Is, I Don’t Like It
  • Quarrel & Quandary: Essays
  • Moloch: or, This Gentile World
  • Presence: Stories
  • The End of an Error
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Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. 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.

At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarshi
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