In Memoriam V. S. Naipaul

 

In Memoriam V. S. Naipaul

De Britse schrijver Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, beter bekend als V.S. Naipaul, is gisteren op 85-jarige leeftijd in Londen overleden. Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul werd geboren op 17 augustus 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad en Tobago. Zie ook alle tags voor V. S. Naipaul op dit blog evenals de oudere berichten.

Uit: A House for Mr. Biswas

„That will be easy,’ Bissoondaye said, speaking with emotion for the first time.
‘On the twenty-first day the father must see the boy.
But not in the flesh.’
‘In a mirror, pundit?’
‘I would consider that ill-advised. Use a brass plate. Scour it well.’
‘Of course.’
‘You must fill this brass plate with coconut oil–which, by the way, you must make yourself from coconuts you have collected with your own hands–and in the reflection on this oil the father must see his son’s face.’
He tied the almanac together and rolled it in the red cotton wrapper which was also spattered with sandalwood paste. ‘I believe that is all.’
‘We forgot one thing, punditji. The name.’
‘I can’t help you completely there. But it seems to me that a perfectly safe prefix would be Mo. It is up to you to think of something to add to that.’
‘Oh, punditji, you must help me. I can only think of hun.’
The pundit was surprised and genuinely pleased. ‘But that is excellent. Excellent. Mohun. I couldn’t have chosen better myself. For Mohun, as you know, means the beloved, and was the name given by the milkmaids to Lord Krishna.’ His eyes softened at the thought of the legend and for a moment he appeared to forget Bissoondaye and Mr Biswas.
From the knot at the end of her veil Bissoondaye took out a florin and offered it to the pundit, mumbling her regret that she could not give more. The pundit said that she had done her best and was not to worry. In fact he was pleased; he had expected less.
Mr Biswas lost his sixth finger before he was nine days old. It simply came off one night and Bipti had an unpleasant turn when, shaking out the sheets one morning, she saw this tiny finger tumble to the ground. Bissoondaye thought this an excellent sign and buried the finger behind the cowpen at the back of the house, not far from where she had buried Mr Biswas’s navel-string.
In the days that followed Mr Biswas was treated with attention and respect. His brothers and sisters were slapped if they disturbed his sleep, and the flexibility of his limbs was regarded as a matter of importance. Morning and evening he was massaged with coconut oil. All his joints were exercised; his arms and legs were folded diagonally across his red shining body; the big toe of his right foot was made to touch his left shoulder, the big toe of his left foot was made to touch his right shoulder, and both toes were made to touch his nose; finally, all his limbs were bunched together over his belly and then, with a clap and a laugh, released.”

 
V. S. Naipaul (17 augustus 1932 –11 augustus 2018)

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