Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Nattering Naipauls of Negativity

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From The Independent:

"The novelist V S Naipaul has damned the achievements of his literary contemporaries by declaring that there are 'no more great writers.'

Naipaul, 75, who won the Booker in 1971 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, is said to have called this year's Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival 'unimportant and meaningless'."

Naipaul went on to say that Iron Man is totally overrated, Daniel Day-Lewis can’t act, and there hasn’t been anything remotely funny on YouTube since 2006...

I love it when authors say cranky things in public, and want to encourage it whenever possible, but declaring there are “no more great writers” is about as fresh a sentiment as the notion that women and men approach the problem of acquiring travel directions in dissimilar ways.

Great writers are a retrospective creation, anyway. Writers have very long careers, and some very great writers turn out a lot of crap that we generously overlook out of gratitude for the one or two or half-dozen great works they manage to produce in their lifetime.

Nabokov was 13 books and over half a century into his writing career before he produced a book (Lolita) that was truly great – and even then, there is some debate whether Nabokov ever did at all.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Nathan Whitlock

Nathan Whitlock is the review editor of Quill & Quire magazine. His writing and reviews have appeared in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, Toro, Geist, Saturday Night and elsewhere. His novel, A Week of This: a novel in seven days, was published this spring by ECW Press.

Go to Nathan Whitlock’s Author Page