Forster was always writing. Indeed, the common notion that somehow his pen dried up after 1924 with the publication of A Passage to India could not be more false. The impulse to account, recount, tell, meditate, speculate took form daily in diary, commonplace book, notebooks, letters, to say nothing of the stories, essays, lectures, reviews, broadcasts and novels. What identifies all this writing as from the same pen is, first, its open-endedness, its unwillingness to dogmatize or reduce; second, its creation of a voice at once vatic and particular; and, third, its powerful narrative impulse. This does not mean that Forster was primarily a storyteller, weaving experience into anecdote. Rather he wrote as one interested in finding out what he was thinking. This exploratory quality is revealed in his attention to the act of telling, in his awareness of writing as a form of experience itself. But such a statement as ‘writing is the experience it records’ does not, in Forster’s case, imply a writer peering into an endlessly receding succession of mirrors. It does, however, define the text as an open space that is created by the act of exploration. At the same time, Forster seems detached from this process; he never let himself be seduced or tricked by his own verbal skills.
KeywordsShort Story Oblique Comment Short Narrative Fictional Mode Lower Personality
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- 1.Aspects of the Novel, Abinger Edition, ed. O. Stallybrass (London: Edward Arnold, 1974) p. 17.Google Scholar
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