All that I know of our history and the history of the Indian Ocean I have got from books written by Europeans? Without Europeans, I feel, all our past would have been washed away, like the scuff marks of fishermen on the beach.
1979 A Bend in the River, ch.1,'The Second Rebellion'.
Everybody is interesting for an hour, but few people can last more than two.V. S. Naipaul
One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas — and you have to work through it all.V. S. Naipaul
One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.V. S. Naipaul
To this day, if you ask me how I became a writer, I cannot give you an answer. To this day, if you ask me how a book is written, I cannot answer. For long periods, if I didn't know that somehow in the past I had written a book, I would have given up.V. S. Naipaul
Men need history; it helps them to have an idea of who they are. But history, like sanctity, can reside in the heart; it is enough that there is something there.V. S. Naipaul