India: A Wounded Civilization
In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency,” V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years earlier. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece: a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by centuries of foreign conquest and immured in a mythic vision of its past.
Drawing on novels, news reports, political memoirs, and his own encounters with ordinary Indians–from a supercilious prince to an engineer constructing housing for Bombay’s homeless–Naipaul captures a vast, mysterious, and agonized continent inaccessible to foreigners and barely visible to its own people. He sees both the burgeoning space program and the 5,000 volunteers chanting mantras to purify a defiled temple; the feudal village autocrat and the Naxalite revolutionaries who combined Maoist rhetoric with ritual murder. Relentless in its vision, thrilling in the keenness of its prose, India: A Wounded Civilization is a work of astonishing insight and candor.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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India : A Wounded CivilizationUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
The Loss of El Dorado (1969) chronicles how the belief that the mythical land of plenty lay off the coast of Trinidad-Naipal's birthplace-placed that country into the world's vision, making it an ... Read full review
Review: India: A Wounded CivilizationUser Review - Catherine - Goodreads
Read this while in India and shared many of Naipaul's sentiments as expressed in this book. Read full review
PART ONEA Wounded Civilization
1 An Old Equilibrium
2 The Shattering World
PART TWOA New Claim on the Land
3 The Skyscrapers and the Chawls
4 The House of Grain
PART THREENot Ideas but Obsessions
5 A Defect of Vision
6 Synthesis and Mimicry
7 Paradise Lost
8 Renaissance or Continuity