V.S. Naipaul Quotes

And it was clear that here (in Egypt)… the East began: in this chaos of uneconomical movement, the self-stimulated din, the sudden feeling of insecurity, the conviction that all men were not brothers and that luggage was in danger.

To read a newspaper for the first time is like coming into a film that has been on for an hour. Newspapers are like serials. To understand them you have to take knowledge to them;… best is the knowledge provided by the newspaper itself.

The infinite, metaphysical timelessness: it always came to this. From whatever point they started – there always came a moment when Indians, administrator, journalist, poet, holy man, slipped away like eels into muddy abstraction. They abandoned intellect, obervation, reason; and became “mysterious.”

I’ve been aware of madness in the Islamic world. I’ve written about it. The madness of people who have fallen behind technically, and who do not have the will to make the intellectual effort to catch up. I was aware of the religious hatred, I was aware of the indifference to life. I was aware […]

In Islam, The West, or the universal civilization it leads, is emotionally rejected. It undermines; it threatens. But, at the same time it is needed, for its machines, goods, medicines, warplanes, the remittances from the emigrants, the hospitals that might have a cure for calcium deficiency, the universities that will provide master’s degrees in mass […]

You couldn’t listen to the sweet songs about injustice unless you expected justice and received it much of the time. You couldn’t sing about the end of the world unless you felt that the world was going on and on and you were safe in it. (of Joan Baez’s music)

The outer and inner worlds coexist; the society only pretends to be colonial; and for this reason its absurdities are at once apparent. Its mimicry is both less and more than a colonial mimicry. It is the special mimicry of an old country which has been without a native aristocracy for a thousand years, and […]

They left no noble monuments behind and no religion save a concept of Englishness as a desirable code of behaviour – of chivalry, it might be described, tempered by legalism – which in Indian minds can be dissociated from the fact of English rule, the vulgarities of racial arrogance, or the position of England today… […]

“Where do you come from?” It is the Indian question, and to people who think in terms of the village, the district, the province, the community, the caste, my answer that I am a Trinidadian is only puzzling. “But you look Indian.” – “Well, I am Indian. But we have been living for several generations […]

Islam is in its origins an Arab religion. Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s worldview alters. His holy places are in Arab lands; his sacred language is Arabic. His idea of history alters. […]