A Writer's People: Ways of Looking and Feeling by V. S. Naipaul

By V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul has consistently confronted the demanding situations of "fitting one civilization to another." In A Writer's People, he's taking us into this technique of inventive and highbrow assimilation, which has formed either his writing and his life.

Naipaul discusses the writers to whom he was once uncovered early on—Derek Walcott, Gustave Flaubert, and his father, between them—and his first encounters with literary tradition. He illuminates the ways that the writings of Gandhi, Nehru, and different Indian writers either demonstrate and hide the authors themselves and their kingdom. And he brings an identical scrutiny to endure on his personal lifestyles: his early years in Trinidad; the empty areas in his relatives historical past; his ever-evolving reactions to the extra complex India he might stumble upon for the 1st time at age thirty.

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The midrashist in fact acknowledges this rabbinic reconstruction, for he invokes the word kivyakhol—his index of a hypothetical reading—before citing the prooftext from Zechariah.  Judah's comment presupposes that we do not read "his eye ('eyno)" with the received Massoretic text, but "My eye ('eyni)" as the midrashic subtext.  We were duly warned: kivyakhol.  Slowly, one reading after another, the words of Scripture are re­formed and re­united into a new corpus: Midrash.  These are the words of Midrash, which are joined to Scripture as bone is joined to bone—so that a new creation be formed, kivyakhol.

One must only stress that it does so kivyakhol: only on the strength of the exegete's bold rereading of it.  I shall start with an example of historical pathos.  56:1 thus unfolds by means of an implicit al tiqre procedure which semantically rereads "what is written in Scripture'' in a daring theological way.  And once again the Bible is troped against itself to produce a myth of divine pathos.  In this process also lies the reauthorization of Torah for the community as a whole. " The midrashist in fact acknowledges this rabbinic reconstruction, for he invokes the word kivyakhol—his index of a hypothetical reading—before citing the prooftext from Zechariah.

And once again the Bible is troped against itself to produce a myth of divine pathos.  In this process also lies the reauthorization of Torah for the community as a whole. " The midrashist in fact acknowledges this rabbinic reconstruction, for he invokes the word kivyakhol—his index of a hypothetical reading—before citing the prooftext from Zechariah.  Judah's comment presupposes that we do not read "his eye ('eyno)" with the received Massoretic text, but "My eye ('eyni)" as the midrashic subtext.

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