Forster’s writing was always closely related to his own time. Once certain youthful immaturities have been put behind, there is little development in his output, at any rate in terms of change: what we do find is a deepening and strengthening of concern, a wisdom that grows out of the earlier sharpness and frivolities in perfect continuity. (The frivolities, for better or worse, are never quite left behind.) Common to all his fiction is the theme of revelation, calling, judgement, salvation: although himself an unbeliever, Forster still worked in the psychological framework of the Christian myth. Because of this continuing preoccupation the later books throw light retrospectively upon the earlier ones; and the two biographies especially are significant for an understanding of the peculiar balance in his work between protest and conformity, visionary insight and common sense. While pursuing his ideals single-mindedly, he never disowned his origins or background. Both books are works of piety, and throw almost as much light upon their author as they do upon their subjects.
KeywordsMystical Experience Early Essay Psychological Framework Aesthetic Ideal Young Officer
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