By Jack Engelhard
There’s a new book out on the life, loves, sexuality and brutality of V. S. Naipaul, a man who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.
Is there a Nobel Prize for Wife Beating? If so, Naipaul would have won that, too, easily.
The facts are all in a biography of Naipaul written by Patrick French in which (practically) nothing is hidden and in fact Naipaul wanted it all put down on paper, warts and all – and talk about warts! The man had a wife whom he pushed aside for a mistress and here’s my mistake. He did not beat his wife (not very much) but oh brother, he sure beat his mistress.
The review in the New York Times talks about his hands being sore from all the beatings he gave – never mind the woman from all the beatings she TOOK.
Here’s the clincher. This mistress did not mind getting beaten up because it was all for the sake of LITERATURE.
Naipaul, apparently, needed that sexual violence for his writing.
Why can’t I find a woman like that, huh?
(What’s wrong with jogging when you’ve got all that excess energy to burn? Works for me, mister.)
Times reviewer George Packer tabs Naipaul as “the greatest living English novelist of the past half century.”
Really? I read Naipaul once and didn’t like him much as a writer and now, of course, don’t much care for him as a man. (What’s to like?)
But hey, it works. Mistress-beating turns out great literature; Nobel Prizes for sure.
So that’s why I’m still struggling! I have yet to lay a hand on any of my wives or mistresses.
Frankly, I have not gone shopping for a mistress and I am terrified of my wife. She won’t even let me leave the house before first going through wardrobe inspection – you know, like, “You expect to go out wearing those jeans?” Never mind my pleas – “But honey, I saw Matt Damon on TV wearing jeans with even more holes in them.”
“Those are DESIGNER jeans. They cost twelve thousand dollars.”
“But I earned every one of these holes – and I’m only going up to the 7-11 to buy a paper for crying out loud.”
“Go back and change.”
See what I mean?
Imagine this guy Naipaul in the same situation. He knows how to handle women, say what?
Listen, there are a million stories about GREAT WRITERS who were nuts and abusive. Yes, we’ve had wife beaters, bigots and anti-Semites.
(Hitler loved dogs and he was a writer, too, you know. How come he never won a Nobel Prize? Fair is fair.)
Did I mention that, according to the review, Naipaul was also a bigot? I skimmed over that part, so taken by his violence for the sake of LITERATURE.
I mean, when you read this review you will be amazed how evil this guy is; what a rotten guy. Yet he is honored and celebrated around the world.
What a world!
Tell you this: I am not tempted to learn anything from him, not on writing, and not on women.
Strangely, (in this strange world) I have never felt the urge to hit a woman, neither wife, mistress, or even the lady behind the counter at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Guys? Oh yes, I’ve had that urge plenty.
My Nobel Prize will have to wait for that day when wife beating and mistress beating are frowned upon.
Meanwhile I’m saving all my violence, sexual and otherwise, strictly for the keyboard, just like this.
About the author: Jack Engelhard’s latest novel, THE BATHSHEBA DEADLINE, now in paperback, places journalism at the center of our culture, politics and war on terror. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel INDECENT PROPOSAL that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. He can be reached at his website www.jackengelhard.com.