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E.M. Forster In 5 Minutes

I’m not sure how I find this stuff sometimes. I guess I just get lucky.

Today’s featured video is a jewel, with only 32 views on YouTube. It’s an excerpt from a BBC interview with E.M. Forster when he returned to Cambridge later in life.

Here are some of the highlights from the sleepy 5-minute video:

  • Forster suspects he “dried up” from writing novels after A Passage To India because “the social aspect of the world changed so very much” and that he had been “accustomed to writing about the old vanished world with its homes and its family life and its comparative peace.” That period was gone. He says he still thought about that time, but he couldn’t put it into fiction form.
  • Forster says he is not a great novelist “because I’ve really got down on paper only three types of people: “the person I think I am, the people who irritate me and the people I’d like to be.”
  • Forster modestly says that the great novelists–he uses Tolstoy as an example–can write about and understand people of all types, but he says he’s more limited in his imagination. Most of us would disagree.
  • He says The Longest Journey is his best, and favorite, novel.
  • Forster says he never “preaches.” He adds, “If I have a sermon inside me, it’s much more likely to come out incidentally.”

I know this video is fairly dull visually, but Forster has a lot of great things to say. Great insight into him as a writer.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. I was at King’s when Morgan Forster was there, used tp have tea with him and talk about India and in 1970 saw the college flag at half-mast when he died.


    September 5, 2013
    • Wow. What did you guys talk about over tea?


      September 5, 2013
  2. Great post! I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for all the insight!
    All My Best,


    September 5, 2013
  3. Reblogged this on Love Of Words and commented:
    Great post by 101 Books! Enjoy!


    September 5, 2013
  4. How great! I love that this kind of thing is out there, waiting to be (re)discovered.


    September 5, 2013
    • That’s been one of the most exciting parts of this project…just researching and finding little lost treasures like this.


      September 5, 2013
  5. I love how he says that he finds “too many social nuances” “tiring” in his work. So many writers would kill for complexity that social nuance instills in a manuscript.


    September 5, 2013
  6. Reblogged this on What The Hell and commented:
    Fascinating. I’m glad someone’s out there treasure hunting so I don’t have to!


    September 6, 2013
  7. It’s interesting that Forster thought The Longest Journey was his best. But the comments on Amazon are completely opposite of his. Of course, a writer is not always a judge of his best work.


    September 7, 2013
  8. Reblogged this on Rosevoc2's Blog.


    September 10, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Book #61: A Passage To India | 101 Books
  2. Samantha Mclauchlin

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