Forster’s (Un)Seen City
Alexandria as a city of memory; Alexandria as a personal experience; Alexandria as a sensual experience; Alexandria as an intellectual experience; The Pharos of Alexandria; Greek Alexandria; Imaginary Alexandria; Alexandria’s artificial beauty; Historical Alexandria; Alexandria’s religions; Islam and Alexandria; Cleopatra; Alexandrian literature; Alexandria’s Bourse
Forster’s sensory experience of Alexandria is defined by his intimation of an unseen Greek city marked by scientific artificial beauty, intellectuality and sensuality at once.
As a novelist, E. M. Forster’s decision to write a guidebook or a history book about Alexandria seemed peculiar and degrading to his friend D. H. Lawrence. But Forster’s Alexandria: A History and a Guide is much more than both. There was no calculation whatsoever, either of Forster’s status as an already celebrated novelist or of the expected readership of the guidebook, behind his writing of it. It was a pure work of...
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