Before I returned E.M. Forster's novel "The Longest Journey" to the library, a book that took me a while to get into it but that nevertheless ended up being very dear to me, I copied out the following quote.

E.M. Forster on what he calls the `teacup of experience´ in his novel "The longest Journey":

"Oh, that teacup! To be taken at prayers, at friendship, at love, till we are quite sane, quite efficient, quite experienced, and quite useless to God or man. We must drink it, or we shall die.
But we need not drink it always. Here is our problem and our salvation. There comes a moment - God knows when - at which we can say: `I will experience no longer. I will create, I will be an experience.´ But do to this we must be both acute and heroic. For it is not easy, after accepting six cups of tea, to throw the seventh in the face of the hostess."

I really really like it, the style and the metaphor of the teacup and all!

From: [identity profile] la-mezzosoprano.livejournal.com


hast du auch A Room With A View gelesen?

{ich liebe E.M. Forster}
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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com


I want to read this book. Forster said that this and Maurice were his personal favourites

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Read it!


There are passages in it which I find excellent, like the quoted one. And, as I said, I ended up liking it a lot, even if there are some things in the narrative that are said to be typically Forster style but not necessarily what I like best in literature, and that luckily don't occur in "Maurice". (You see, I try to keep what I say spoiler-free. I can explain you what I meant when you read the book;)

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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


It is now on order!

I have just tried to plough through Howards End. After Maurice and A Room with a View, I wasn't expecting something so hard going; I'm really looking forward to The Longest Journey now. :)

BTW - Have you read The Life to Come and other Stories?

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


I'm not the biggest fan of "Howard's End", either. My main problem with it was that I simply didn't care for any of the characters, and so nothing what happened could really touch or get to me.
So I'm a bit afraid of reading "Room with a View", now, because I want no disappointment.

I don't know why I haven't read "The Life to Come and other Stories", yet. But I just booked it at the library!
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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


A Room with a View is very good. I had my misgivings because, by the time I'd read Maurice, I had read so many articles which said that it had been written in a different style to his other books. So, I worried I may not like A Room with a View. It's a beautiful book. Not too dissimilar in style to Maurice, and very readable.

Oh goodie - let me know when you get A Life to Come, there's a few of the stories in there I really love, all of them with some kind of homosexual theme or other, but they are very different to each other. :) I haven't read all of the stories yet.

The Longest Journey has been dispatched so I should get it by mid0week. :)

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


I reckon "Room with A View" to be a good summmer read from what I've heard of it. But summer's almost over her, so I thought I might take it with me when I go to Italy last week of september :)
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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


I finally got round to reading this book today. And one of my favourite quotes is this one, which you've quoted too:

I will experience no longer. I will create, I will be an experience.

I've just finished it and come to hunt down this post of yours to see what you said again...

I found it really easy to get into, I loved it from the start. Now that I know what happens I can reread sometime with better appreciation, as I found myself reading with a sense of dread when he turned into that dreadful and dull man who lost his ability to live because he was so concerned with doing and being 'good'. Although that never quite left him, to his ...um... downfall I suppose.

I found a great deal of similarity with Maurice, to the extent that some of the time I felt as if I could be reading that book instead of the one I was reading. Also I was interested in the ways that Rickie and Maurice were both similar and different. At least in the earlier chapters when R was at Cambridge. I felt myself thinking - now this is how Maurice could have been if he had not been such a "torpid" young man, if he'd been a thinker. So that was very interesting.

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


When I started the book I couldn't help compare it to "Maurice" all the time, "The Longest Journey" being only the second Forster book I read.

There are lots of similar themes in both books. I found it interesting how ancient greek was mentioned in "The Longest Journey" and in my eyes we also have a `clash´ between civilisation and nature, the Pembrokes representing civilisation and Stephen Wonham nature.

As for the characters, Rickie reminded me somewhat of Maurice, Anselln has things in common with Clive and I do think that Alec and Stephen share some character traits, such as honesty and instinctiveness. I know they are all characters on their own that you can't equate like that, I just found some words that fit the different pairs without binding them too close together.


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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


The two books - A Longest Journey and Maurice are so different from the others that I've read so far (admittedly only Howards End and A Room with a View so far)...so much more open, I think. I have a strong sense that with his two favourites he let himself go and wrote what was in his heart (I think he actually says something to that effect himself). Even with ARWAV there was a feeling of holding back, of restraint and conformity.

I think this was deliberate in a way because what he was writing about were the social rules that were in place that prevented people living freely the way they wanted. Everyone was constrained and forced into certain behaviour. What interests me is that, despite knowing this and despite disagreeing with it, he lived his life that way too. Or at least he did when his mother was alive.

I wonder a lot what he could have written if he had let go and written as his heart wanted him to. We see it in The Longest Journey and we see it in Maurice and I think we've all missed out on a lot because he didn't, for whatever reasons, do that.

The clash with civilisation and nature is an ongoing theme. In The Life to Come... it crops up in a number of the stories and I think it was one of the things in life that he believed...the simplicity and honesty of living a more 'natural' life (the outdoors, Alec, Stephen etc) v. the constraints of civilisation (Clive, class, indoors). It's such an interesting theme and it's a shame I think that both The Longest Journey and Maurice are viewed as inferior novels and much ignored. I think they have a lot to offer.

:)

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


I don't understand how anyone can see this two novels as inferior to his other works. I can't see it no I CAN'T!

I've also only read Howard's End and a few short stories (but none of the "The Life to come..") so far and am busy with ARWAV at the moment, but I find so much more in Maurice and in The Longest Journey! Even language-wise: Maurice was the first book ever I found myself re-reading passages before having finished the book, just because I found them so extraordinarily beautifully written. And I don't only speak of the Maurice/Alec scenes, even if I re-read these scenes more often than others :p. It started long before Alec even turned up.
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From: [identity profile] gorse-wine.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


If you want beauty then you must go immediately to the title story in The Life to Come. Are you still waiting for it from the library? The very first part of that has some jaw-droppingly beautiful language. I think I quoted a tiny part of it on my journal. And I keep going back to that story over and over again to read parts. The same with Maurice in fact, and I know I'll be doing it with The Longest Journey.

I think this is why I've fallen in love with Forster. He's got inside me the way no other author has done before. I feel awakened to life in the same way Maurice does when the pieces start to fit together for him.

I appreciate that the middle part of Maurice has a bit of a bump when you think about Clive and his sudden 'change' but otherwise what a beautiful and wonderful story. Sometimes I really do think that those who decry his so-called lesser works are interested solely in the technical putting together of the stories and are missing the heart of them completely.

From: [identity profile] jagodasladoled.livejournal.com

Re: Read it!


I can get it anytime from the library now. The thing is that I have to finish reading other stuff and also have a stack of other books waiting to be read before I can move on to The Life to Come.

Also, another reason I didn't read it until now was that I wanted to save it up a little so I can look forward to it a bit longer, but then I think one shouldn't wait too long with things that one finds important to accomplish...

As for Clive, I might be one of the few (from what I learned in reviews and discussions) who found Clive's `change of heart´ after the illness plausible.
The way it happened convinced me, because I could imagine him lying in bed, being sick, getting annoyed with Maurice, starting noticing the nurse, flirting with her and then embracing conformity. I had some quite vivid pictures in my mind of that process, so for me they wouldn't have had to sent Risley in the jail in the film.
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