Monday, 26 June 2000

A Passage to India

Listening to:

Mozart, piano concerto #9 in E flat major, KV 271.

Just read:

A passage to India by E. M. Forster.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. In some ways, it was more of the same. Certainly Forster seems to relish the chance to describe the interaction of two worlds, where one world is the conventional English setting familiar to him, and the other is something exotic. Sometimes the focus is on the impact of the exotic on the English, as in the two Italian novels (Where angels fear to tread and A room with a view), and sometimes the other way around gets most attention, as in Maurice and APTI.

In APTI, the principal character is probably Aziz. He opens and finishes the novel, and we get to see his internal thoughts and emotions most of all. It's difficult to know how likely a person he is, but at least Forster had actually been to India, so he’s probably not a complete fabrication of what Forster thought Moslem Indians should be like. It's really only during the novel’s central crisis that Aziz is apart from the narrative. Instead we get to see the English administration springing into sickening action.

Finally, I find the novel’s denouement very effective. This is in complete contrast to The longest journey.

To read next:

Plums of P. G. Wodehouse. This is another volume courtesy of the Folio Society.

Incidentally, the English football team are out of the Euro 2000 competition. They lost to Rumania, and didn’t need to be kicked out for the bad behaviour of their fans.