Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)


Sunday, November 01, 2009

FBI buries VS Naipaul alive!

VS Naipaul

An FBI report has mistakenly declared the Nobel laureate dead

Eye-popping news ... VS Naipaul. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

Reports of the death – and the degree of royal preferment – of Nobel laureate VS Naipaul have it seems been greatly exaggerated. A bizarre discovery by the website The Smoking Gun – the one which also uncovered James Frey's porkies – found that an FBI agent referred to "the late Lord VS Naipaul, a Nobel prize winning author" in court documents unsealed yesterday.

Now, Naipaul might not have published a new book since 2007's A Writer's People, or won a literary prize since he took the Nobel in 2001 for "having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories", but he's still very much alive.

The FBI, rather confirming the estimation of a character in David Mamet's film Homicide that they "couldn't find Joe Louis in a bowl of rice", also – posthumously, as it were – elevated Sir Vidia to the House of Lords.

The poor man – it must be a very strange feeling to become a "late". One consolation, however, may be that he shares this profoundly uncomfortable experience with Alfred Nobel. Nobel, whose renown during his own lifetime rested on having invented dynamite, was profoundly shaken when a French newspaper rather precipitously declared that "le marchand de la mort est mort". After that trauma, the would-be pacifist's strategy for redeeming his name was to create a set of enormously generous prizes.


Alison Flood
Wednesday 28 October 2009
The Guardian

(c) Guardian News and Media Limited. 2009

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