"Every writer is, in the long run, on his own, but it helps, in the most practical way to have a tradition. The English language was mine; the [English] tradition was not."
Born and raised in Trinidad to a family of Indian Brahmin origin, writer V. S. Naipaul manipulates his rootlessness into an ab
When Naguib Mahfouz serialized his novel 'The Children of Gebelawi' in Arab-language newspapers, the fundamentalist Muslim group al-Jihad promptly put a bounty on his head. Thirty years later, in 1994, the Nobel Prize-winner was stabbed in the neck outside his Cairo home. Though he lived to tell the
Oscar Wilde pursued a life -- an art -- of pure uselessness. This was not because he objected to pragmatic pursuits, if kept in their proper place: "We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it inten
For any literary teenager in the '60s, reading Kerouac's "On the Road" was a must. But immediately following that came Hermann Hesse's study of the Buddha's early life, "Siddhartha." It comes as no surprise, for Hesse was one of the major literary influences on the Beat generation ("Siddhartha" was