Monday, September 22, 2008

Understand what the author wished

13 April, 2008 Updike Warns; Choudhury Ignores
Many years ago, John Updike laid down, for himself, a few rules for reviewing books. The first of them was:
Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.

I suspect my friend Chandrahas makes that error when he complains of Patrick French’s biography of VS Naipaul:
French’s book is too sexual, and not textual enough.
So no, I don’t agree that French’s biography is “somewhat unbalanced”. It is just that Chandrahas’s expectations of the biography were different; and that is not French’s fault.
Posted by Amit Varma in Arts and entertainment India Uncut

1] I have given up writing columns and Op-Eds, and am trying to be a full-time novelist instead. So those impassioned (sometimes too impassioned) essays about freedom and suchlike are a thing of the past—at least for a while.
2] While reacting to the news around me, I often find I am repeating myself. How often can I rant about the nature of government or free speech or the wastage of the taxes we pay? Posted at 3:16 AM by Amit Varma in Freedom Personal 11 September, 2008

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