I just found an article by Zadie Smith on E.M. Forster. It was pointed out in the community [profile] british_fiction I copied it and intended to read it later, but the first paragraph caught my eye. I haven't read on, because I don't have the time right now, but I like what she says in this first two  paragraphs, and the way she says it.

"In the taxonomy of English writing, E.M. Forster is not an exotic creature. We file him under Notable English Novelist, common or garden variety. Still, there is a sense in which Forster was something of a rare bird. He was free of many vices commonly found in novelists of his generation—what's unusual about Forster is what he didn't do. He didn't lean rightward with the years, or allow nostalgia to morph into misanthropy; he never knelt for the Pope or the Queen, nor did he flirt (ideologically speaking) with Hitler, Stalin, or Mao; he never believed the novel was dead or the hills alive, continued to read contemporary fiction after the age of fifty, harbored no special hatred for the generation below or above him, did not come to feel that England had gone to hell in a hand-basket, that its language was doomed, that lunatics were running the asylum, or foreigners swamping the cities.

Still, like all notable English novelists, he was a tricky bugger. He made a faith of personal sincerity and a career of disingenuousness. He was an Edwardian among Modernists, and yet—in matters of pacifism, class, education, and race—a progressive among conservatives. Suburban and parochial, his vistas stretched far into the East. A passionate defender of "Love, the beloved republic," he nevertheless persisted in keeping his own loves secret, long after the laws that had prohibited honesty were gone. Between the bold and the tame, the brave and the cowardly, the engaged and the complacent, Forster walked the middling line."

Source: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21692

 


All in all, I like this way more than what I read in THIS article, written in 1974 by Andrew Hodges and David Hutter, which I find rather ridiculous in thinking that Forster could have actually brought on homosexual law reform by outing himself, and  agressively attacks him.

A quote out of it:

"
Perhaps Forster's most famous remark was that if he were forced to choose between betraying his country and betraying his friends, he hoped he would have the courage to betray his country. Since the choice was unlikely ever to be presented, this was an easy, if startling, claim to make. The real choice for Forster lay between damaging his reputation and betraying his fellow homosexuals. Alas, it was his reputation that he guarded and gay people whom he betrayed."

And another, right at the end of the article:


"
E. M. Forster is a classic example of the person who is widely known within the sophisticated gay community as a homosexual, and whose name is added with pride to the list of famous names that gay people so eagerly make. Since all such lists are apologetic they are all self-oppressive, but in this case there is particular irony. Throughout his life Forster betrayed other gay people by posing as a heterosexual and thus identifying with our oppressors. The novel which could have helped us find courage and self-esteem he only allowed to be published after his death, thus confirming belief in the secret and disgraceful nature of homosexuality. What other minority is so sunk in shame and self-oppression as to be proud of a traitor?"

So much today, on E.M. Forster.
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