Up at Oxford

Up at Oxford

Book - 1993
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"To be at Oxford: the university had occupied Ved Mehta's imagination ever since he was a small, blind Hindu boy, during the British Raj. His quest for learning had taken him from India, where education for the blind consisted of little more than confinement in an orphanage, to America, where he attended high school in Arkansas and college in California. Now, in this volume, he journeys to England, to earn what he saw as the highest mark of intellectual attainment - an Oxford honors degree from Balliol College." "Few foreign undergraduates can have entered the stream of English life with more verve and gusto than Ved. While he is not surprised at being intellectually challenged at Oxford by the erudition of his tutors, he is floored by the achievements of his contemporaries. Believing his own sketchy educational background to be an all but insurmountable handicap, be struggles mightily to keep up with them. Still, neither his friends nor his pursuits are just scholarly. He is elected to a debating society that mirrors the House of Commons and develops verbal dexterity. He becomes part of a literary circle centered on a mercurial and captivating young poet. He is seized by a strong desire to be accepted into upper-class society, and in his speech he cultivates the vocabulary and the cadence of an English gentleman. As time goes on, he is charmed by numerous young women with upper-crust accents, and is befriended by a lord, whose ancestral castle he visits for a shooting party during a Christmas vacation. All the same, in the land of those who once ruled India he manages to come to terms with his own ethnic heritage." "In Up at Oxford Ved Mehta recalls the nuances of his conversations and his meditations, the range of his youthful emotions, and the sounds, smells, and tastes of undergraduate life, and along the way he draws memorable portraits of, among others, novelists, poets, scholars, and peers. He catches people in their youth who later make significant contributions to politics and letters, and also some whose youthful promise turns to failure and tragedy. And he introduces us to various brilliant figures who made Oxford the pinnacle of intellectual life in the fifties." "Up at Oxford is unlike any other account of university life. Told with wit and candor, Ved Mehta's journey to his degree - from the awkward moments at his freshman dinner to the anxious days and nights of his final examinations - captures a time and a place worth discovering and remembering."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Publisher: New York : Norton, 1993
ISBN: 9780393035445
Branch Call Number: 921 Mehta
Characteristics: 432 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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