Frances Wilson finds parallels in Anne Theroux's memoir about her marriage to Paul Theroux and his memoir about the demise of his relationship with V S Naipaul
In Sir Vidia’s Shadow (1998), Paul Theroux described the breakdown of his 30-year friendship with V S Naipaul, which had reached, he tells us in the subtitle, ‘across five continents’. So blinded was he by Naipaul’s talent that he failed to se that he was a monster. It was only when Naipaul, recently remarried, dropped him that Theroux realised he ‘had freed me, he had opened my eyes, he had given me a subject’. Sir Vidia’s Shadow tells us a good deal about Naipaul’s dismal treatment of his first wife and about Theroux’s sense of his own sexual and moral superiority, but nothing at all about Anne, Theroux’s own first wife, whom he met in 1967, the year after befriending Naipaul. All we are told about the Theroux marriage is that their separation was ‘by mutual consent’ and that Paul then, as he put it, ‘seemed to evaporate. I died...
I’m afraid this isn’t one of our six free articles available in full, which are set out in the first two rows of the ‘Magazine’ page.
Please click here to find them.