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.
What people are saying - Write a 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
Other editions - View all
Acharya autobiography Bangalore become Bhave Bihar Bombay brahmin British brotherhood bullock cart caste century chawls civilization courtyard crisis crowd Delhi dharma Emergency engineer fantasy floor foreign Gandhi Gandhian girl Hindu Hinduism holy human huts idea of India independent India industrial intellectual Jagan Jaya Prakash Jaya Prakash Narayan Kakar karma kind knew labour land lane latrine lived look lost magic Maharashtra mahatma Maratha modern monsoon Moslem movement Narayan Naxalite Nehru novel obsessions offered old India past Patel peasant perhaps plateau political politicians pollution poor poverty prince racial Rajasthan Ramraj religion religious returned to India ritual rule rupees Sampath sarpanch seemed settlement Shiv Sena simply social South Africa spirituality squatters Srinivas stone talk temple Tendulkar things town tradition truth turned untouchables V. S. NAIPAUL Vendor of Sweets veranda Vijayanagar village Vinoba Bhave vision walk