September 26, 2007

Sri Aurobindo’s stories are far more dramatic than M. R. James’

We cannot end the story of Cambridge without mentioning the other discovery we have made. In the year 2001, while we were working on the dramatisation of “The Phantom Hour”, we had been struck by the similarity in the theme of this story with the stories of M. R. James who was also a part of King’s College, Cambridge. He is the best-known raconteur in England of stories which have a supernatural twist to them. It is well-known that he used to read out his own stories at Christmas time to a gathering of friends at Cambridge.
The point to note is that M. R. James not only studied at King’s but became a Fellow, Dean, then a Tutor and finally Provost from 1905 to 1918. He was Dean at King’s when Sri Aurobindo joined the college. Although his first stories were published in book form in 1904, the first time that a magazine carried these stories was in 1895, only three years after Sri Aurobindo had left the university town.
However, it is an accepted fact that M. R. James wrote or recounted these ghost stories much before they came out in print. One can easily surmise that Sri Aurobindo would at least have known of his stories if he hadn’t actually met him. The only short stories that we have from Sri Aurobindo’s pen are stories of the supernatural set in England, and in my opinion, far more dramatic than M. R. James’.
Sri Aurobindo at Cambridge by Sunayana Panda
by RY Deshpande on Wed 26 Sep 2007 01:48 AM PDT Permanent Link [The article has first appeared in the quarterly Golden Chain, August 2007, an alumni journal of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Sunayana belongs to the 1979 alumni batch.] Keywords: SriAurobindo, Spirituality, People, Literature, India, History, Ashram, Art Posted to: Main Page CULTURE EDUCATION LITERATURE .. European Union .. India INTEGRAL YOGA SRI AUROBINDO 7:31 PM

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