"To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter.'"
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."V. S. Naipaul on Confucius
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."V. S. Naipaul on Abraham Lincoln
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."V. S. Naipaul on Mahatma Gandhi
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."V. S. Naipaul on Franklin D. Roosevelt
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."V. S. Naipaul on Thomas Jefferson
"The writer is all alone."
"If you write a novel alone you sit and you weave a little narrative. And it's O.K., but it's of no account."
"What was past was past. I suppose that was the general attitude."
"The reason is that they define how I have gone about my business. I have trusted to intuition. I did it at the beginning. I do it even now. I have no idea how things might turn out, where in my writing I might go next."
"I went to India and met some people who had been involved in this guerrilla business, middle-class people who were rather vain and foolish. There was no revolutionary grandeur to it. Nothing."