In the latest issue of The New York Review of Books, novelist Norman Rush reviews V.S. Naipaul’s new book on African belief systems, “The Masques of Africa.” Naipaul, it seems, got very upset at how Africans threat some animals:
Trying to figure out Naipaul’s foundational worldview is too hard for me. It’s a secret he works to keep. He strews around all manner of conflicting clues. Is he an Empire Loyalist? Not really. Not if you read his columns of acidic comment on modern England published in the Illustrated Weekly of India in the 1960s. And not if you read his The Loss of El Dorado (1969), a powerful indictment of the settling and ravaging of Trinidad. Is he a champion of the insulted and injured? Sometimes, with reservations—and often he forgets that their poverty is making somebody up the pyramid happy and rich. He has written in praise of the fundamentalist ideology of Hindu nationalism …[But] I don’t know. He is passionately against cruelty to animals. One can be certain of that.