Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Passage to India

Book: A Passage to India
Author: E.M. Forster
Like/Don't Like: Like

There were really only two classes that I skipped in college on a regular basis. My organ class (Dear Members of My Ward, I am so sorry. Love, Rachel) and this one Lit class that I have completely forgotten the name of. Well, not so much forgotten as didn't really care enough to learn. Because the professor was a joke. I never understood what he was talking about. And I'm sure he had no idea either. I know this because anytime we would start talking about what we were actually suppose to be talking about, he would change the subject. I learned more about Telemark skiing in that class then I ever did about whatever books we were suppose to be reading. And since I didn't care about the class, I didn't bother to read any of the books.

One of those books was A Passage to India. And having just read it, I'm a little mad at that guy for not being a better teacher. Like all Forster novels, I found myself really wanting to talk it out with someone. He has such a way of writing about conflict and misunderstanding, or, as he like to put it, muddles. He makes muddles a very human condition, and in this book he shows that it's not just a trait of one race. Pride and culture and status and prejudices get in the way of progress everywhere you go.

I think what I like about his writing is that it all seems like it's part of the same family. I picture all of his characters as cousins and their stories are part of a larger collected volume of work. Like Lucy from A Room with a View and the Schlegels from Howard's End and Adela from this book all get together for tea when they make it back to England to talk about why people can't forget all the nonsense about money and religion and just be friends.

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