Talk:E. M. Forster

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I don't like the way in the list of Forster's novels, those that have been filmed have that fact in brackets after them. It seems to me to suggest that having one's work filmed is the ultimate ambition/pinnacle of career achievement of every author, which I don't think it is. This is especially the case when there is a separate category at the end for notable films made from Forster's works, and when each of these films have their own article.

I'd like to know what other people think before I dare to edit the article - if no one objects I guess I'll go ahead and do it anyway and see if anyone reverts. Shim jb 11:16, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Please don't revert the "Novels" Section under "Notable Works by Forster" to include film adapatations; there is already a "Notable films based upon novels by Forster" Section below. Doing so would be repetitious. HelloThere 10 Aug 2006


I have started expanding this page, adding things about Forster's life (particularly the last fifty years of it), summarising his first three novels, and expanding the introduction to the article. -- Jason Finch 22 March 2006 15:02 (GMT)


I reintroduced some of the text about Forster's humanism; after all it is at the heart of his work ("only connect"). I have grouped the "humanism" and "sexuality" categories under the heading "key themes", which seems to fit better than "overview". I have also added a reference to "What I believe" where Forster outlines his worldview. --Daniel Spichtinger 9 July 2005 14:47 (UTC)


Categories were vandalised (completely removed) by Ringlord:- 21:12, 8 July 2005 Ringlord (removed superfluous genre listing). No-one seemed to notice! Categories were restored 18th Aug 2005. The page seems to be becoming prone to such vandalism, probably by "gay-bashers". Please watch for it and repair. --Anon, 18 Aug 2005 4:23 (UTC)

Vandalism again!

Edward Morgan Forster was changed into Ecstasy Mother Fucker and several other stupid changes were made. Undid all of them. Agree with the "gay-bashers" hypothesis! Caro kunz82 21:26, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Forester link[edit]

I'm sorry, but what kind of illiterate would you have to be to mistake "Forster" for "Forester"? More to the point, is it likely such a person would be looking him up in the first place? If C. S. Lewis doesn't have a link to Percy Wyndham Lewis I don't really see why this page has been singled out for the "Surnames for Dummies" treatment. -- 00:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


Wheres the machine stops ??????????? Probably his most visionary work predicting the internet and instant messaging 100 years ahead of its time !!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 5 February 2013 (UTC) This article refers to Forster's famous epigram but doesn't say what it is. What is it? And why is it so famous? what were the perdonimant themes of E.m. Forster's works? What was unique about his style?

The epigram is 'only connect', though the article does not really explain what it means. The themes are stated in the infobox. I don't believe his style was unique. Lkjhgfdsa 0 (talk) 11:12, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Forster's criticism of Henry James[edit]

Jason Finch softened my comment that Forster harshly criticized Henry James' The Ambassadors. Frankly, I think "harsh" was a soft word for Forster's blast at James. The key comment from Forster's essay on the novel:

"The beauty that suffuses The Ambassadors is the reward due to a fine artist for hard work. James knew exactly what he wanted, he pursued the narrow path of aesthetic duty, and success to the full extent of his possibilities has crowned him. The pattern has woven itself with modulation and reservations Anatole France will never attain. Woven itself wonderfully. [I can understand Jason's comment about "ironic" discussion. Forster is obviously and rather clumsily getting ready for the Big Diss.] But at what sacrifice!

"So enormous is the sacrifice that many readers cannot get interested in James, although they can follow what he says (his difficulty has been much exaggerated), and can appreciate his effects. They cannot grant his premise, which is that most of human life has to disappear before he can do us a novel."

Anybody who says that most of life "disappears" from a novelist's work is making a really, really harsh criticism, in my opinion. Forster follows up with much more on how James supposedly left out almost everything important from his books. Personal disclaimer: I think Forster's essay on The Ambassadors is misguided and often simply wrong, and did much to injure (unjustly) James' reputation in the decades immediately following his death. I comment on this in the Henry James article. Fortunately, the damage was mostly temporary, though some might disagree (smile). Casey Abell 16:41, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

My Wood[edit]

I disagree, "My Wood" can be considered a short story and/or an essay.

Except it's not fiction. The essay is part of the "Abinger Harvest" collection of essays and other miscellaneous pieces. Every Google reference I've seen on "My Wood" refers to it as an essay. So why list it as a short story? Casey Abell 12:17, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

New biography under development[edit]

Not too sure if this should be included somewhere:
A new biography of E. M. Forster is on the way. The author is Wendy Moffat, an American academic who promises on her website to "chart Forster’s gay identity during the most important decades in gay history". Bloomsbury will publish the biography, to be called A Great Unrecorded History, in 2009 or 2010.

'Explicitly homosexual'?[edit]

The article reads, 'His posthumously published novel Maurice tells of the coming of age of an explicitly homosexual male character.' Surely openly homosexual would be better than explicitly homosexual, which might suggest quite the wrong thing? Even if openly isn't the right word, there should be a better word to use than explicitly. Skoojal (talk) 06:26, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Explicit means "fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal", and is therefore entirely appropriate. "Openly" is certainly not appropriate, since Maurice is not able to be openly gay in his society.Gymnophoria (talk) 12:42, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Personal Life[edit]

This article is more about his writing, it really needs expanding with more information about himself as a person.Gymnophoria (talk) 12:43, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. The article is pretty shallow concerning Forster's private life. There's a new biography quite enlightening about that subject: A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster by Wendy Moffat, Picador, 2011. For instance, did anyone knew that Forster had been sexually molested as a child? (In March 1891, the 12 year-old Morgan was walking in the woods near Eastbourne and he was approached by a pedophile. The man exposed himself to Morgan and asked him to have a hand job.) Or that his first happy love affair was with an Egyptian tram driver named Mohammed el-Adl?—Ana Bruta (talk) 00:17, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that this article needs more content regarding his private life and its influence on his work. One almost needs to read between the lines to find out he was in fact gay. If anyone would like to expand the article, there have been many articles recently written about Forester's homosexuality after the release of Damon Galgut's book "Arctic Summer". For instance, this review by Edmund White may be a good place to start: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Arctic Summer, Unfinished Novel[edit]

Forster (died in 1970) never finished his novel Arctic Summer. The novel was finished in 2014 by a playwright named Damon Galgut. - Verbum Veritas (talk) 21:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Reason for declining knighthood in '49?[edit]

I've seen speculation suggesting it concerned his sexuality and his desire to avoid scrutiny, but I can't find a truly reliable source asserting that or any other explanation. Anyone know of a source that might elucidate? Snow -I take all complaints in the form of rap battles- 17:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)