Indian Fugues

  • Richard Cronin


At the beginning of Ruth Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust a missionary is talking to a young English girl just arrived in India, talking with the urgency of night-time conversation between those who cannot sleep:

One day I saw a terrible sight. He can’t have been more than thirty, perhaps a German or Scandinavian — he was very fair and tall. His clothes were in tatters and you could see his white skin through them. He had long hair, all tangled and matted, there was a monkey sitting by him, and the monkey was delousing him. Yes the monkey was taking the lice out of the man’s hair. I looked in that man’s face — in his eyes — and I tell you I saw a soul in hell.


White Skin Drunken Driving Western Sense English Girl Hindu Scripture 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    V.S. Naipaul, India: A Wounded Civilization (Penguin, 1979), pp. 102-4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See V.S. Naipaul, An Area of Darkness (Andre Deutsch, 1964), pp. 205 and 209-16.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Cronin 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Cronin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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