'The Hot Unconscious' by Charles Foster, is a book about the author's travel experience across India. As he crosses sacred rivers, navigates the Himalayas, and fights the heat of the south, he begins an even more compelling odyssey. He voyages within. In the noise and the echoing silence of India, Foster confronts his own religious presumptions, and wonders whether the mystical traditions of east and west can be married.
Here's an excerpt from the book:
For long periods I spoke to no one, and almost forgot how. This is common in lone travellers. When I had to speak, there was a strained mute moment, like air being blown across a stopped organ pipe, before any noise came. Once launched, sentences usually sailed well enough, but starting new phrases was an effort. So, to avoid the danger of a stammering break, I tried not to punctuate. Breathing was the worst casualty. Like everyone else, Ive learned to make my breath last for the phrase being spoken, and to take breath at natural punctuation points, points worked out with an eye to the substance of the talk. This requires a good deal of forethought. You need to have an idea how the phrases will fall. That pacing skill was lost quickly in the silence. I was a funny, inarticulate creature, whod take deep breaths, run hard at sentences and lose momentum, ending in a squeaky decrescendo of embarrassed despair.
01:35 PM, Jun 29, 2012