Kinga’s review of A Passage to India > Likes and Comments

28 likes · 
Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Hana (new)

Hana A thoughtful review, Kinga! I loved the quote you highlighted: The boulders said, ‘I am alive,’ the small stones answered, ‘I am almost alive.’”


message 2: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Hana wrote: "A thoughtful review, Kinga! I loved the quote you highlighted: The boulders said, ‘I am alive,’ the small stones answered, ‘I am almost alive.’”"

I'm not happy with this review. I had so many things to say and they all spilled out and there is no flow. :)


message 3: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita "Mrs Moore became a kind of pre-Internet meme as ‘Esmis Esmoor’"

You never fail to find amusing things to say about a distinctly un-funny book. :)

I do still wonder about what happened in the cave. One interpretation says Adela was attracted to Dr Aziz on a subconscious level which is why she brought the charges against him, unable to reconcile her desire with her moral compass. I'm kind of an unabashed Forster fangirl too btw. Have you read A Room with a View?


message 4: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Samadrita wrote: ""Mrs Moore became a kind of pre-Internet meme as ‘Esmis Esmoor’"

You never fail to find amusing things to say about a distinctly un-funny book. :)

I do still wonder about what happened in the cav..."


I do feel like it was mildly amusing - in a sort of very understated sarcastic way.

To me it went like this - she went into those dark, mysterious caves, so the environment messed with her senses and perception, she felt something touching her (probably a piece of her own clothing), but because her mind had already unconsciously been in the gutter in regards to Dr Aziz, so the excitement translated into fear by her 'moral compass' produced that final conclusion that she was being assaulted. As it was unladylike to have any sexual desires she did the classic Freudian trick and projected her own desires onto someone else (a member of people she was told were 'the sensual Orientals').


message 5: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma I was not overwhelmed by this novel; but it is very fair to both sides, I must say. A refreshing viewpoint from an English author.

BTW, what do you make of the chapter towards the last, on the celebrations of the birth of Krishna? I took it as an optimistic metaphor for a new dawn.

Fine review, Kinga.


message 6: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Nandakishore wrote: "I was not overwhelmed by this novel; but it is very fair to both sides, I must say. A refreshing viewpoint from an English author.

BTW, what do you make of the chapter towards the last, on the ce..."


Thanks.

I don't think it's a book that can 'overwhelm'. In fact it can easily slip under the radar. It took me months and a week of thinking to see its greatness and be able to appreciate it. But I'm not 'blown away' by any means.

Yeah. I think Forster was very much convinced independent India was to happen very soon.


message 7: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Kinga wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "I was not overwhelmed by this novel; but it is very fair to both sides, I must say. A refreshing viewpoint from an English author.

BTW, what do you make of the chapter toward..."


Have you read Paul Scott's books? If not, I would urge you to do so. They are the best literature to come out of colonial India.


message 8: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Nandakishore wrote: "Kinga wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "I was not overwhelmed by this novel; but it is very fair to both sides, I must say. A refreshing viewpoint from an English author.

BTW, what do you make of the ..."


I have 'Staying On' on my to-read list because it was mentioned in some other novel. (The narrator was saying it was his mother's favourite book) I can't remember what book it was anymore.


message 9: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Kinga wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "Kinga wrote: "Nandakishore wrote: "I was not overwhelmed by this novel; but it is very fair to both sides, I must say. A refreshing viewpoint from an English author.

BTW, wha..."


I would recommend The Raj Quartet, to which Staying On is a sort of corollary. In these four interconnected novels, Scott paints a picture of the dying empire that's very poetic. And his English is sublimely beautiful.


message 10: by Hana (new)

Hana Kinga, I think the review is terrific. Things spilled out because that's the sort of book this is--it reaches you slowly on so many levels. And there are so many layers not just to your own reactions but to the novel. And each layer is so fragile and so delicately drawn that it is hard to dissect without damaging things.

I think of analyzing a novel like this as akin to the work of an archeologist coming upon a chest full of ancient silk robes--can he? dare he? tease them apart to see what's there?

But I think you found the [an] essence in your last and first sentences about "fragile friendship which carefully treads the cultural differences. It’s a story of tiny misunderstandings and silly errors and their dramatic consequences." That to me is what makes this a book, not just about India and the British, but about the human condition. Everyone who comes into our lives is somehow 'Other' and each friendship a fragile, infinitely precious thing that can be destroyed in an instant.

I don't think writers are wrong to write of the Other--I think they must--because all literature that is not repetitive autobiography is an exercise in empathy, daring the author and inviting the reader to enter minds and worlds not their own.

Heavens, I'm waxing philosophical for 7 AM--I'd better have a good strong cup of tea to get over it ;)


message 11: by Hana (new)

Hana P.S. I'll second Nandakishore's recommendation of the Raj Quartet. I've read the first, The Jewel in the Crown and the second, The Day of the Scorpion, and they were two of the most powerful novels I've ever read (and very, very cleverly written as well).

Paul Scott's novels were written in the 1960's though set just before Indian independence, and so are informed by 20/20 hindsight; in that respect, as you point out, E.M. Forster's achievement is more amazing for he was writing from inside the moment.


message 12: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Hana wrote: "Paul Scott's novels were written in the 1960's though set just before Indian independence, and so are informed by 20/20 hindsight; in that respect, as you point out, E.M. Forster's achievement is more amazing for he was writing from inside the moment."

Yes, Forster was observant enough to see the writing on the wall for the British Empire.

However, Scott's characters are much more powerful, I have felt.


message 13: by Zanna (new)

Zanna I find your review of this exceptionally perceptive = )


message 14: by Rita (new)

Rita I greatly enjoyed your review! Your comments on colonial baggage are well made.

And thanks for the link to that ASTOUNDINGLY good review by Zadie Smith -- worth its weight in gold.


back to top