Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The American Isherwood$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816683611

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816683611.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

A Phone Call by the River

A Phone Call by the River

(p.155) 11 A Phone Call by the River
The American Isherwood

Paul M. McNeil

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter offers a reading of Christopher Isherwood’s final novel, A Meeting by the River (1967), which explores the moral challenges he had glimpsed dimly between 1940 and 1951. In a letter from Oliver to Patrick, the reader is introduced to two English brothers. Oliver writes from Calcutta, where he lives in a Hindu monastery a few miles outside the city, on the bank of the Ganges. Patrick is in the United States on business, working on a film project in Los Angeles. Oliver’s conversion is at the heart of the story. His journal entries tell of the struggles he confronts as he strives to realize “the ideal of moksa.” They also record Oliver’s perception of Patrick’s “enlightenment.” Patrick’s letters, however, subvert this conventional reading altogether, telling a different story about a darker side of Vedanta. In particular, his musings on bisexuality and marriage fit into Isherwood’s larger, critical examination of Vedanta.

Keywords:   novel, Christopher Isherwood, A Meeting by the River, conversion, moksa, enlightenment, Vedanta, bisexuality, marriage

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.