Download Half a Life by Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul PDF

By Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

In a story that strikes with dreamlike swiftness from India to England to Africa, Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul has produced his best novel up to now, a bleakly resonant research of the fraudulent deals that make up an identity.The son of a Brahmin ascetic and his lower-caste spouse, Willie Chandran grows up sensing the hollowness on the middle of his father's self-denial and vowing to stay extra authentically. That seek takes him to the immigrant and literary bohemias of Nineteen Fifties London, to a facile and unsatisfying occupation as a author, and eventually to a decaying Portugese colony in East Africa, the place he reveals a happiness he'll then be pressured to betray. Brilliantly orchestrated, instantly elegiac and devastating in its pictures of colonial grandeur and pretension, part a lifestyles represents the top of Naipaul's profession.

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Half a Life

In a story that strikes with dreamlike swiftness from India to England to Africa, Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul has produced his best novel thus far, a bleakly resonant research of the fraudulent deals that make up an identification. The son of a Brahmin ascetic and his lower-caste spouse, Willie Chandran grows up sensing the hollowness on the center of his father's self-denial and vowing to dwell extra authentically.

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My father fell easily into that way of life. He learned English and got his diplomas from the secondary school, and was soon much higher in the government than his father. He became one of the maharaja's secretaries. There were very many of those. They wore an impressive livery, and in the town they were treated like little gods. I believe my father wished me to continue in that way, to continue the climb he had begun. For my father it was as though he had rediscovered something of the security of the temple community from which my grandfather had had to flee.

Night after night I debated what I should do. The mahatma himself, I knew, had gone through a crisis like this only a few years before in his ashram. Apparently at peace there, living a life of routine, adored by everyone around him, he had actually been worrying, to a pitch of torment, how he might set the country alight. And he had come up with the unexpected and miraculous idea of the Salt March, a long march from his ashram to the sea, to make salt. So, living securely at home, in the house of my father the courtier in livery, still (for the sake of peace) pretending to attend the university, but tormented in the way I have said, I at last felt inspiration touch me.

I felt more useless than ever. In other parts of India there were great men. To be able to follow those great men, even to catch a sight of them, would have been bliss for me. I would have given anything to be in touch with their greatness. Here there was only the servile life around the palace of the maharaja. Night after night I debated what I should do. The mahatma himself, I knew, had gone through a crisis like this only a few years before in his ashram. Apparently at peace there, living a life of routine, adored by everyone around him, he had actually been worrying, to a pitch of torment, how he might set the country alight.

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