ENGL 115 – Naipaul Assignment
Due to the drop-box outside Johnson Chapel #5 by 4:00pm on Friday, December 9th
In a letter to his son V.S. Naipaul, Seepersad Naipaul muses on the difference between a writer’s worldly self and his self in writing. Having observed this divergence in several major English writers, Seepersad concludes, “It seems to me that it wasn’t what these fellows were outwardly that mattered; it was the other self that they could summon” (29).
The letters collected in Between Father and Son show “what [the Naipauls] were outwardly,” but they also demonstrate all “that they could summon” in writing. Pick a letter in which its writer seems to summon an “other self”—or to observe such a summoning in someone else—and read it closely. How is such summoning visible in Between Father and Son and why is it important?