Sunday, April 27, 2008


a bit more...on naipul

i am still reading paul theroux's sir vidia's shadow and i'm a bit surprised that the book is better than i thought and i continue reading this at the expense of the rest of half read books which are equally interesting ( first son: george w bush and the bush family dynasty by bill minutaglio or Patrick White's the cockatoos -for instance). patrick white is terribly out of fashion now and not too many people are reading him but i'm not one for the latest fashion and i don't care about latest award winning writers and all that. i just read what i like. and i just read for pleasure . nothing more nothing less.

i don't like vs naipul very much and i've never had any interest to read any of his novels or non fiction (i have quite a few of his non fictions lying there in the library as i've mentioned before) but the way paul theroux kept banging on about naipul's highly fascinating but terribly conceited character is a very good read indeed. i'm just into the fourth chapter but even from these it's plain that naipul has a very low regards for africans and their music ( 'Do you hear those bitches and their bongos?') and won't even mix around with the expats when he was a visiting professor at a university in kampala ( referring to them as plain buggers and reported from Dar es Salaam of extensive buggery ).

nothing seemed to please naipul and he treated his white wife patsy (whom theroux was sexually attracted to ) badly. but theroux explained, he was pleased when told by his novelist friend Edna O'Brien that marlon brando admired his novel miguel street. and for some unexplained reason edna o'brien also mentioned that marlon brando was attracted to women with dark nipples. (now where did that come from? i prefer pink if i can grab a pair)....

and not least paul theroux managed to insert all kinds of fascinating anecdotes and stories example ; there was a guy , his collegue at the university in kampala. he was of the chigwa tribe from the rwanda border. what's interesting about this tribe is this , as theroux wrote in the book;..

...a despised people who practised wife inheritance- passing the widow on to the dead husband's brother- which was based on a curious marriage ceremony that involved the bride's urinating on the clasped hands of the groom and all his brothers. One of the wedding night's rituals required the bride to fight the husband, and should he prove weak- for she was expected to struggle hard- his elder brother was allowed to take charge, and subdue and ravish the woman while the groom looked on.

doesn't that sound like fun eh?, sex , sex...there's no getting away from it. at one point naipul said that he had given up sex . and at another place he told theroux that 'i was a big prostitute man at one time'. and theroux went on to talk about his experience frequenting african prostitutes. and the way he described african prostitues i find are almost similar to many Asian prostitutes which are very different from the stereotypes of Western prostitutes.

Far from having the sexual ambiguity and low self-esteem of cringing , pimp-bullied western prostitutes , these African women were liberated as men.

...the bar girls were full of opinions, about politics, about other tribes, about neighboring countries...The women were sometimes religious and always superstitious...

at one point Naipul asked...

'Do you find those African girls frightfully beautiful?' and Theroux's answer was
'Some of them yes, Very beautiful...'

which reminds me of that scene when who was it? Was it Pyle? (i can't remember too well now) in graham greene's famous novel the quiet american where he exclaimed how innocent and beautiful the vietmese prostitues were! and graham greene should know. he was a big prostitute man himself - according to naipul...and i too have seen quite a few , some of them plying their trade on motor bikes in saigon, some of them very beautiful and some very young but that's for another day...

hmmmm...all these make it sound like these girls are a lot better than normal and hypocritical career women that i meet everyday...but that's not very true, about the prostitutes i mean ...again this is for another time.

Did you see the CNN documentary on African prostitutes in Copenhagen? It's terrifying tale of slavery.
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