Monthly Archives: October 2012

A passage to India

She felt increasingly (vision or nightmare?) that, though people are important, the relations between them are not, and that in particular too much fuss has been made over marriage; centuries of carnal embracement, yet man is no nearer to understanding man.

Why all this marriage, marriage? . . . The human race would have become a single person centuries ago if marriage was any use. And all this rubbish about love, love in a church, love in a cave, as if there is the least difference, and I held up from my business over such trifles!

 

My love for this book knows no bounds! It’s sensitively and beautifully written with fantastic characters and is everything, well, everything it should be. The quote above is sadly the only one I saved but there were a fair few that really resonated with me.

The surreal recurring echo which plagues Adela Quested and seems to recur in Mrs Moore’s madness and throughout the book to other characters reminds me a lot of the echoing horse hoofbeats that gave me goosebumps recently when I was watching John Hurt play Caligua in I, Claudius. It’s a dreamy book, and some scenes are written so perfectly that it’s possible for them to become as tangible a memory for the reader as one’s first day at school, or travelling in a new country, or whatever. I’m thinking in particular of the description of the wasp on the clothes hook, of the amazing festival of Krishna described in the last part of the book and of┬áMrs Moore’s meeting with Aziz in the Mosque. I can tell you exactly how warm and velvety dark and peaceful the air was in the Mosque that night, how it smelled faintly of flowers and of water and of the street outside and how all of the sounds were hushed and echoing at the same time. Anyway I don’t believe that there is a soul alive who wouldn’t get something out of this book, and seeing as I am living in a post colonial country myself at the moment it’s particularly poignant.

I am so addicted to E M Forster’s writing now that I instantly started reading A Room with a View, which is very sweet and romantic but not as profoundly affecting as A Passage to India – in fact it reminded me of Vanity Fair and a few Georgette Heyer novels, maybe also a bit of Northanger Abbey. I’m going to read Howards End next. It’s so cool, such a wonderful surprise at this stage in my life to find an author I’d always vaguely dismissed as dull (I’m really not sure why, I think I thought he had a dull name) to actually turn out to write in such an engaging and accessible way.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I’m a long time Zelda fan, there isn’t a single video game series that I’ve played for as long or as consistently. I fell in love with OOT after avoiding the guards and coming across Zelda at the window of the palace, and since then I haven’t looked back. I’ve read a lot of criticism of Skyward Sword, but for me it’s probably the Zelda I’ve enjoyed most since OOT. The soundtrack is fantastic (I don’t know why so many people seem to hate it), and ok the story is rubbish but let’s face it we’re not playing Zelda for the storyline. I loved Link throwing himself off the island and being caught by his bird, I loved the feeling of flying and I loved so many little details in the game, like Beedle’s shop. The bugs were a bit of a disappointment, and so was Demise, but Zelda’s character was better than usual and not completely insipid and the recurring boss dude was really genuinely creepy. Twilight Princess might have looked darker than Skyward Sword but I found the boss in Skyward Sword more frightening.

This is also the only Zelda I’ve gone back to the next day and started replaying on hero mode. I don’t know, something about it just appealed to me. I also thought the motion control was really good and I’m losing patience with people whining about how much they hate it. It’s not perfect, no, but it pulls you into the game a damn sight more than pressing buttons on a controller. I liked a lot of the meta stuff in the game too, like the Acadamy celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the big deal they made about Link getting his traditional gear. I hope they do something different in the next game, but in terms of zelda-ish-ness this was pretty much perfect. So, well done Nintendo!

Skyward Sword