Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Arctic Summer

Arctic Summer. An incredibly intimate, sensitive journey into the life and passions of Edward Morgan Forester. The book among other things takes the reader through a largish part of EMF's life -- in particular his two loves - one unrequited and the other where he finds fulfilment and woven in between these two is the slow development of his magnum opus "A passage to India".

This is my first Galgut. I have read EMF's Howard's End, A room with a view and the hugely entertaining "The Hill of Devi" - an account of his year at Dewas Senior as Secretary to the Maharaja. But I have not read "A Passage to India".

I have also read some of his letters or journal extracts and was already familiar with EMF - the man.  That is perhaps why, Damon Galgut's portrayal of EMF felt authentic. Or perhaps it was just the magic of Mr. Galgut.

I could feel EMF's internal hesitations, the awkwardness of not fitting in, his twisting his fingers or stumbling at the edge of the carpet and then feeling embarrassed about it, his pain, his loneliness. It was as if I was there with him in England when he was "Poppy" to his overbearing mother, in the bus in Egypt seeing the bus conductor Mohammed, in the hot and dusty Dewas with Bapu Sahib, In his rooms, in the horse drawn carriage where he imagines the young sais leaning inches from him;  and everywhere else...

Mr. Galgut, thankyou for this journey.

PS - I also highly recommend "The Hill of Devi".

Arctic Summer
ALEPH Book Company
Pages: 355
Price: Rs. 595

No comments:

Read if you will

Blog Widget by LinkWithin