Thursday, June 17, 2010

Written in 1974

"But we read at different times for different things. We take to novels our own ideas of what the novel should be; and those ideas are made by our needs, our education, our background or perhaps our ideas of our background. Because we read, really, to find out what we already know, we can take a writer's virtues for granted. And his originality, the news he is offering us, can go over our heads." --
V. S. Naipaul, in his fine essay "Conrad's Darkness" collected in that black volume The Return of Eva PerĂ³n with The Killings in Trinidad, published in 1980, when I was a young bookseller in New York.

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