Jane Austen for particular criticism.
In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society on Tuesday about his career, Naipaul, who has been described as the "greatest living writer of English prose", was asked if he considered any woman writer his literary match. He replied: "I don't think so." Of Austen he said he "couldn't possibly share her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world".
He felt that women writers were "quite different". He said: "I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me."
The author, who was born in Trinidad, said this was because of women's "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world". "And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too," he said.
He added: "My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh. I don't mean this in any unkind way."
Och gut, de beste man (die een
- ik heb geen verstand van het verschil tussen mannen en vrouwen;
- ik heb geen verstand van literaire stijlen;
- het verschil tussen vrouwelijke en mannelijke schrijvers is helemaal niet zo overduidelijk;
- ik ben inferieur aan meneer Naipaul;
- allevier de antwoorden hierboven zijn van toepassing.