Edward Morgan Forster was born in 1879 in London and at the age of 8 inherited a large sum of money (nearly £700,000 at todays rates) from an aunt. This enabled him to attend University and pursue his dream of being a writer.
The first of the 5 novels he completed (Where Angels Fear To Tread; The Longest Journey; A Room With A View; Howards End; A Passage to India; Maurice) was published when he was 26, but he was still working up until his death at the age of 91, leaving an unfinished manuscript (Arctic Summer). His biggest success was with the novel “A Passage To India” which stemmed from his love of the country, which he first visited after he left University. He returned again to India in the early 1920’s and in the 30’s and 40’s he was a well-known broadcaster on BBC Radio.
His novels and numerous short stories remain popular today and generally deal with class differences but also with elements of sexuality and symbolism.
My favourite E M Forster quotes:
“One always seems to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.”
“Only a writer who has the sense of evil can make goodness readable.”
“I have only got down onto paper, really, three types of people: the person I think I am, the people who irritate me, and the people I’d like to be.”
“The king died then the queen died is a story. The king died, then the queen died of grief, is a plot.”
Forster was a “pantster” and liked his writing to happen, rather than approach it planned. “How do I know what I think unless I see what I say?”
I am again, ashamed to say that this is yet another author, who’s work I haven’t read (although I do have a copy of Maurice on my huge pile of books in the bedroom), but I have at least seen the film adaptation of A Room With A View lol. I found it interesting what Forster says about a large book. I personally just tend to avoid anything that has over 350 pages!
Are you a fan of huge tomes? Or do you avoid them like I do? 😉
- Story vs. Plot vs. Action (thelivingnotebook.com)
- E.M. Forster: The Difference Between Story and Plot (aerogrammestudio.com)
- E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India (fibercompulsion.wordpress.com)