Tuesday, March 15

V.S. Naipaul - "I had an aptitude, but not a talent".

Often the best way of finding out about creative writing is through the ideas of successful writers - if we can understand them.  In a longish (40 min) BBC interview with the writer V.S. Naipaul, talks about the influences on his writing, and his own 'aptitude':

"I have an aptitude and I developed it….I didn't have a talent, because I required a lot of thought to arrive at the forms which I managed most naturally, the forms most suited to the material I was dealing with.  Even my understanding of my material.  All of that required a lot of time.  So, I had to learn stage by stage... It's a very slow process."

In the early section he explains He states that he has been unhappy with 2-3 of his books, and has gone back to put things right.  This is because he was 'mislead by the form,' trying to write a particular sort of novel rather than being true to himself. He states that
 new writers need to find their own form and originality rather than recreate someone else's work.  In striving for this , he controversially advises writers to read 'very little contemporary fiction'!

BBC (1994).  Face to Face with V.S. Naipaul [online].  BBC archive.  Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12219.shtml

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