Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Canon Fire

V.S. Naipaul turns his cannon on the canon. And he's using grapeshot. Hardly anyone escapes without a scratch.

Henry James is "the worst writer in the world." Hear, hear! Thomas Hardy "an unbearable writer" who "doesn't know how to compose a paragraph." Yup. His poetry is underrated, though. Ernest Hemingway "was so busy being an American" he "didn't know where he was." Sounds about right to me.

Dickens is criticized for his "repetitiveness," a fault but one which is excusable, to me, and he can't get through "Northanger Abbey."

"I thought halfway through the book, 'Here am I, a grown man reading about this terrible vapid woman and her so-called love life.'

"I said to myself, 'What am I doing with this material? This is for somebody else, really."

Yes, most likely having two X chromosomes is a great advantage in appreciating Jane Austen.

He likes H.G. Wells -- hardly the PC choice nowadays -- and Mark Twain and "his friend Harold Pinter."

BBC also notes that Naipaul has "accused EM Forster of being a sexual predator and described Irish author James Joyce as incomprehensible."

Imagine that. Joyce, incomprehensible! The nerve of the man.