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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Pro Fiction, Anti Naipaul

Today's edition of the Mumbai Mirror carries excerpts from a forthcoming interview with Amitav Ghosh, in which the novelist defends the art of fiction from the tirades of Sir Vidia:

"Naipaul has reached the end of his fictional capacities, which is what he is saying. I am a great admirer of Naipaul. But this is such a strangely disingenuous thing to say...He's run out of material so he thinks that the novel as a form is finished."

He goes on: "The world has always been a complicated and difficult place...It's true that there have been terrible incidents of terrorism recently. But what are these compared to the second or first world war or even the cold war? There are a thousand times you can think of when the world was a lot more complicated, when there was more violence. For the West, terrorism is new. We, in India, have lived with it for 20 years...This does not kill fiction. The more complicated the world becomes, the greater is the need for it. Fiction explains the world, gives a shape to the world, represents it, makes it understandable. Fiction is essential. People have been declaring the death of the novel for at least 70-80 years. The novel has not only not died but is, in fact, flourishing,"

Well said.


  • An oversimplification, perhaps.

    Maybe what AG suggests--tiredness, or the mushrooming of non-fiction works.

    By Blogger Anand, at 4:17 PM  

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