By David Medalie

E.M. Forster's Modernism is the 1st certain and entire research into Forster's courting to Modernism. A clean and unique examine, it situates Forster's fiction inside of more than a few early twentieth Century contexts: socio-political, popular and aesthetic. It advances the argument that Forster's fiction embodies a huge strand inside modernism and in doing so makes the case for a brand new definition and interpretation of 'modernism'.

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Example text

This tragic submission to degradation comes when Leonard is abandoned by Helen after their love-making: The note that she left, tender and hysterical in tone, and intended to be most kind, hurt her lover terribly. It was as if some work of art had been broken by him, some picture in the National Gallery 42 E. M. Forster’s Modernism slashed out of its frame. When he recalled her talents and her social position, he felt that the first passer-by had a right to shoot him down. He was afraid of the waitress and the porters at the railway station.

If [Dickinson] held aloof from ordinary people, how could he help them, and if he threw himself into their lives, should he not become like them?. . To abandon culture and blunt sensitiveness in the hope of breaking down barriers always seemed to him a desperate expedient.

The characters in the later works, as we shall see, are not vouchsafed that alternative passage out of the maze. ‘The Point of It’, a short story which Forster completed and published in 1911, may be seen as another indication of his sense of the increasing fragility of the liberal-humanist position. In some ways, the story looks back to the fiction written before Howards End, since narrow rationalism – associated with a failure to respond fully to the intensity of life – is contrasted with romanticism, and found wanting as a result, which is the pattern of the earlier fiction.

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