There are no more great writers, says V S Naipaul
Saturday 31 May 2008
The novelist V S Naipaul has damned the achievements of his literary contemporaries by declaring that there are "no more great writers".
Naipaul, 75, who won the Booker in 1971 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, is said to have called this year's Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival "unimportant and meaningless".
He made his outspoken comments while at a launch of a new magazine at the Wallace Collection, in London. "Publishing has gone down in quality so much in recent years and the problem is that there is no literary life any more because there are quite simply no more great writers," he said.
He added that he had also noticed the people who go to Hay were "incredibly ugly". A spokeswoman from the festival said that Naipaul had not made an appearance at Hay in any official capacity.
While the writer, who won the Booker with In A Free State, has been widely acknowledged as one of the most significant creative minds of his age, he has also been tarred by a reputation for rudeness that has lost him some friends in the literary world.
His comments follow an authorised biography by Patrick French, which says Naipaul tormented his first wife for four decades, visited prostitutes and kept a mistress for 24 years before he suddenly abandoned her to marry another woman.
One reviewer said the book, The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of V S Naipaul, "must be the frankest authorised biography of anyone alive and in possession of their senses".
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'