Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Saturday, May 17, 2003  

"Years later, browsing my shelves, I came across The English Teacher again. I was struggling to find a voice for my second novel and the few paragraphs I read were of such beguiling simplicity and clarity that I resolved to make time for a second reading. Revisiting it at the age of 40 I find in it so many beautiful and moving things. I recognise and sympathise with the way Krishnan describes the psychological pain of everyday life, the simple, short-lived epiphanies that light us along our way. 'Why had I become incapable of controlling my own thoughts? I brooded over it. Needless to say it took me nowhere. I felt a great regret at having spent a fine evening in brooding and self-analysis, and then reached a startlingly simple solution.' In Narayan's hands even the torture of the mind is so untortured; the conversations and descriptions so unadorned as to give the impression of words flowing like blood or air through one's body."

- Ardashir Vakil, one of my favourite novelists, in an article on The School Teacher by RK Narayan, in today's UK Guardian Review.

posted by Jonathan | 1:36 AM 0 comments


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