The Indian social theorist Ashis Nandy writes of the two voices in Kipling, which have been called the saxophone and the oboe. The first is the hard, militaristic, imperialist writer, and the second is the Kipling infused with Indianness, with admiration for the subcontinent’s cultures. Naipaul has a saxophone and an oboe, too, a hard sound and a softer one. These two sides could be called the Wounder and the Wounded.

Wounder and Wounded, James Wood

 

* Rudyard Kipling, “Borrow trouble for yourself, if that’s your nature, but don’t lend it to your neighbours”

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