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An Area of Darkness by V. S. Naipaul

By V. S. Naipaul

A vintage of contemporary trip writing, An quarter of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning along with his ancestral place of origin and a very perceptive chronicle of his first stumble upon with India.

Traveling from the bureaucratic morass of Bombay to the airy great thing about Kashmir, from a sacred ice collapse the Himalayas to an deserted temple close to Madras, Naipaul encounters a dizzying cross-section of humanity: browbeaten executive employees and imperious servants, a suavely self-serving holy guy and a deluded American non secular seeker. An sector of Darkness additionally abounds with Naipaul’s strikingly unique responses to India’s paralyzing caste procedure, its it sounds as if serene reputation of poverty and squalor, and the clash among its wish for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. the outcome could be the such a lot stylish and passionate e-book ever written concerning the subcontinent.

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Tom Blakemore, who is spending five weeks in Germany, undoubtedly can tell you far more about conditions at the moment than I can. But it would be unfair to mention the evidences of the anti-Jewish campaign without describing some of the other things we saw. In the bierstuben∗ and restaurants uniformed and nonuniformed men mix easily in card-playing groups. On the streets most of the pedestrians step along alertly as if important business awaits their care. In the restaurant where Angus and I lunched we were amused to observe the stir of interest when a lad of about 8 entered the room, stretched out his arm and squeaked the universal “Heil Hitler,” and then went about asking winter help donations for the poor.

The Congress platform is grounded on democratic government, independence and economic advancement of the country. The Muslim League is attentive primarily to Muslim rights and demands. Several attempts at rapprochement have been made, but each has broken on the preliminary question of status. The Muslim League insists upon recognition as the authoritative representative of Muslims in India; the Congress retorts that it itself claims to be a national body with Muslim members (the solidly Muslim Northwest Frontier Province is pro-Congress) and cannot accept the inference that it may negotiate only on behalf of the Hindus.

Together we spent a happy evening of conversation, drifting all the way from our common fraternity brothers to German state policies and back. On Sunday I lunched with Angus Thuermer, a school mate at the University of Illinois. As we walked down Kurfürstendamm he pointed to a second-story window from which the glass was out. ” he asked. ” All along the street we noticed places where neon signs and brass markers had been torn down. We saw new plate glass windows in shops whose merchandise shelves were bare.

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