By Glen Cavaliero (auth.)
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Extra info for A Reading of E. M. Forster
It represents the quintessence of Machen's imaginative world: a solitary boy growing up in a landscape which both fascinates and scares him; the surrounding enclave of adult obtuseness and conventionality; intimations of an ancient civilisation among the ruins of Roman Caerleon; and, most significantly, the dawning of sexuality during sleep on the summit of an ancient earthwork. But the conflict between the physical and imaginative sides of Lucian's nature results in his self-destruction among the arid terraces of London suburbia.
I Albergo Empedocle foreshadows much that is to be part of the Forsterian universe: the parenthetical, allusive humourj the amiable inanities of the more gently conventional old lady j the sudden sharp commentj the shared observation as between friend and friend. The tale seems almost as much confided as told. Forster always avoids the spectacular: he prefers to use implication. But there is nothing fey about Harold's experience: this is, in one sense, an anti-romantic story. Regrettably, Forster did not think it good enough to publish in The Celestial Omnibus, for it is less vulnerable to criticism than some that he did include there.
That he should write perceptively on Firbank, Forrest Reid and Howard Overing Sturgis is not surprising/ for these three very different novelists share in their several ways a homosexual sensibility, and he may thus be supposed to have a fellow feeling for them; but his intuitive, empathetic approach enables him to illustrate authors of a very different kind - Ibsen, T. E. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, Conrad, none of whose work bears much resemblance to his own. But on Jane Austen he disappoints. Mannered, a little prim, he is belles-Iettrist in the worst sense.
A Reading of E. M. Forster by Glen Cavaliero (auth.)