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
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Larou - LibraryThing
In his An Area of Darkness V. S. Naipaul had measured the India of 1963 against the nostalgic, imagined India from his childhood days of growing up in the Indian community of Trinidad and – rather ... Read full review
INDIA: A Wounded CivilizationUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Far from being undercut by the new Indian elections, Naipaul has in essence overtaken events. When his inquiry into the Emergency appeared serially in the New York Review of Books, Indira Gandhi ... 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