Where’s my Delete Key?

I recently read Passage to India by E.M. Forster: a terrific book with some lovely imagery, great insight into the inconsistency and vagrancy of the human spirit, and an ability to capture relations in a just a sentence or two.  It is set during the dying days of the British Empire written from the perspective of someone who could not know that the end was nigh but, nonetheless, a fascinating, subconscious sense of it permeates the book.  So despite the fact that the book’s central premise is a young, and seemingly sensible English woman, acting in an extremely silly fashion, I liked it.  But it was also interesting from a perspective that was separate from the book itself: the writing seemed very unedited.  This is not to say that it was filled with typos and errors in sequence, but that there were passages – really, namely the end – that just went on and on.  I felt like I had finished reading it a good 30 pages before it was really over.  Of course, there are modern books that are similarly flawed and there are personal tastes in such matters, but it did make me wonder if the book would have looked the same if Forster had had the book on a computer with the delete readily at hand.  In some ways that would have been a shame.

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