“A Passage to India” is the reason I went to University to study English. I read it for my ‘A’ levels and was completely over-whelmed. I’d never come across anything like it before.
Of course the language is all very dated now, and you might say that it hasn’t aged well, but for me it contains one of greatest opening paragraphs in literature. Maybe it helps if you’ve read the book before when you read that opening, I don’t know.
Whatever the merits or demerits of the language may be, at the heart of the story – as in “Heart of Darkness” – there’s something elemental at which Forster’s novel teases, a truth that’s undeniable and yet indescribable and nameless… ‘personified’ by the echo in the Marabar caves.
And as a writer, I believe that it’s these kinds of truths we should square up to and, even knowing the task is an impossible one, still strive to uncover and make tangible.
It was great going back and re-reading it after all this time…