June 6, 2008

Literary feuds

Literary feuds are fun. Naipaul is in the news again, this time not for throwing pointed barbs at others but for a pointed vitriolic attack on him by a fellow Caribbean Nobel laureate.

The distraction of Walcott vs Naipaul: With his poem, The Mongoose, Derek Walcott attacked his literary contemporary and nemesis - and overshadowed some great new work.

Rhyme and punishment for Naipaul: A wickedly humorous poem by a Nobel prize winner has drawn more blood in a vitriolic feud between literary lions.

And here's an excerpt from Walcott's poem, The Mongoose':

I have been bitten, I must avoid infection
Or else I'll be as dead as
Naipaul's fiction
Read his last novels, you'll see just
what I mean
lethargy, approaching the obscene
The model is more ho-hum than
The essays have more bite
They scatter chickens like critics,
each stabbing phrase is poison
Since he has made that snaring
a prison
The plots are forced, the prose
sedate and silly
anti-hero is a prick named Willie
Who lacks the conflict of a Waugh or
And whines with his creator's

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