“Men yearn for poetry though they may not confess it; they desire that joy shall be graceful and sorrow august and infinity have a form, and India fails to accommodate them.”*

* ― E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (1924).

Stendhal, Rome Naples et Florence (1817):

“I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves’. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.”

Sigmund Freud: The Future of An Illusion (1927)

“I was already a man of mature years when I stood for the first time on the hill of the Acropolis in Athens, between the temple ruins, looking out over the blue sea. A feeling of astonishment mingled with my joy. It seemed to say: `So it really is true, just as we learnt at school!’ How shallow and weak must have been the belief I then acquired in the real truth of what I heard, if I could be so astonished now! But I will not lay too much stress on the significance of this experience; for my astonishment could have had another explanation which did not occur to me at the time and which is of a wholly subjective nature and has to do with the special character of the place.”

From: The Spire (1964), by William Golding:

“The most solid thing was the light. It smashed through the rows of windows in the south aisle, so that they exploded with colour, it slanted before him from right to left in an exact formation, to hit the bottom yard of the pillars on the north side of the nave. Everywhere, fine dust gave these rods and trunks of light the importance of a dimension. He blinked at them again, seeing, near at hand, how the individual grains of dust turned over each other, or bounced all together, like mayfly in a breath of wind. He saw how further away they drifted cloudily, coiled, or hung in a moment of pause, becoming, in the most distant rods and trunks, nothing but colour, honey-colour slashed across the body of the cathedral. Where the south transept lighted the crossways from a hundred and fifty foot of grisaille, the honey thickened in a pillar that lifted straight as Abel’s from the men working with crows at the pavement.”

Jeremy Laurance wrote in The Independent of 27 December 1999:

“…Writing in the January issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, Dr Yair Bar-El and colleagues from the Kfer Shaul mental health centre say nearly all the ordinary tourists who developed “Jerusalem syndrome”came from ultra- religious Protestant families. Its cause is thought to be a combination of the disorientation caused by travel, the clash of cultures and a strong religious belief…”

Vikram Zutshi wrote at scroll.in on Feb 04, 2019:

“…India can cause seemingly normal people to wake up believing they are an incarnation of a long-dead Indian saint, or they have awakened their kundalini and acquired latent superhuman powers, or that the world is about to end…

So common is this phenomenon that there is a name for it – India Syndrome. Regis Airault, a psychiatrist stationed at the French consulate in Mumbai, wrote a book called Fous de L’Inde (Crazy about India) based on his experiences treating westerners who had suffered psychotic episodes while in India. “There is a cultural fantasy at play,” he told The Cult Education Institute, an internet archive of information about cults and movements. “[India syndrome] hits people from developed Western countries who are looking for a cultural space that is pure and exotic, where real values have been preserved. It’s as if we’re trying to go back in time.”

Damon Galgut wrote for The Guardian of 8 Aug 2014:

“…In an interview with the Paris Review in 1952, (E.M. Forster) says: “When I began A Passage to India I knew that something important happened in the Marabar caves, and that it would have a central place in the novel – but I didn’t know what it would be.”

…His motive for going to India was to see Syed Ross Masood, a young Indian man whom he’d befriended in 1906 and with whom he was deeply in love…

He was in India for six months, from October 1912 to April 1913…

…Forster had said goodbye to Masood the previous night. Although he was only halfway through his stay in India, they wouldn’t see each other again on this visit or, indeed, for many years afterwards. He had travelled halfway around the world to spend time with his friend, but out of a six-month sojourn they were together for only three weeks – and Forster still had three months of his journey in front of him.

…His mood, one senses, was saturated with the feeling of loss – and he carried this feeling with him into the caves a few hours later.

…Is it too fanciful to imagine that everything Forster must have been experiencing that day – a confusion of love, sadness, disappointment and possibly anger – was projected on to the caves, and took form in the imagined attack? It’s never explicitly stated in the novel, but it’s obvious that Miss Quested is attracted to Aziz. If the assault is a fantasy, it’s because her desires have no outlet – and the same could be said for Forster…”

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