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Preview — Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
Aspects of the Novel
Forster’s lively, informed originality and wit have made this book a classic. Avoiding the chronological approach of what he calls “pseudoscholarship,” he freely examines aspects all English-language novels have in common: story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm. Index.
I said no, I have Goodreads.
They said "What about Facebook?"
I said no, I have Goodreads - this is funny, someone said it should be called Bookface.
They didn't get that.
They said "Do you have a blog?"
I said well, no, I do Goodreads.
They looked at each other, and then they said "We heard you don't even have a mobile phone."
I said yeah, you heard right.
They said "Don't tell us, you have Goodreads."
I said "Now you're making fun of me."
They said "Huh, we don't need ...more
The most common denominator of all novels is this: the novel tells a story. This alone does not make a novel good, but without a story a novel cannot exist. Therefore, ti ...more
He begins by situating the novel ontologically somewhere between history and poetry. The novel stands both upon the factual terrain native to history but also borrows from the expansionary, symbolic vistas of poetry to build its own u ...more
The tone is pretty casual, which makes it an easy read and while the aspects he covers are very basic - the story, the plot, ...more
"Curiosity is one of the lowest of the human faculties. You will have noticed in daily life that when people are inquisitive they nearly always have bad memories and are usually stupid at bottom. The man who beings by asking you how many brothers and sisters you have, is never a sympathetic character, and if you meet him in a year’s time he will ...more
The book is a compilation of lectures, delivered in Trinity College, Cambridge in 1927, on what he considers universal aspects of the novel: story, characters, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm.
The lectures are unique and insightful. Had I not lost my book immediately after finishing it I would have loved to quote several of his shrewd, profound and appealing conclusions here.
What stil ...more
I appreciate them, but more often than not they are outside of my comfort zone, I don't really fit in with them, and I think they are overpriced and overrated.
Reading this book you get the sense that E.M. Forster is a bit of an opinionated prick. The saving grace here is that he definitely has the skills to back up being an opinionated prick. But I found the book useless as a guide to writing or as a portal into the mind of th ...more
The lectures purposely avoid looking at the deve ...more
ليس من الجيد دائما أن تنقل محاضرة مسموعة داخل قاعة جامعية إلى كتاب، فلغة
المحاضرة تختلف عن لغة الكتاب ناهيك عن أن التواصل بن المحاضر والمستمع
يختلف كثيرا عن التواصل بين الكاتب والقاريء، واعتماد المحاضر على أساليب
معينة لتوصيل وجهة نظره للمستمع يُفقد الكتاب الكثير من النواحى الضرورية
لاكتمال بنيته ككتاب.
النقطة الأخرى وهى الفارقة؛ أن المحاضر، إدوارد فورستر، يعتمد فى دراسته
لأركان الرواية على مجموعة كبيرة من الروايات الإنجليزية والفرنسية والروسية
وغيرها، تتفاوت شهرتها بين المحدوية وذائعة الصيت، وهذ ...more
I think that the most unique, interesting statement in the entire book was in the introduction at Ch 1. Forster feels that authors should not be judged by the chronological categorization of literature over time, but rather be viewed as though they were all simultaneously cr ...more
Some nuggets I gleaned from the book:
“We are all like Scheherazade’s husband, in that we want to know what happens next. That is universal and that is why the backbone of a novel has to be a story” (27).
So daily life, whatever it ma ...more
Forster announces at the beginning of the book that he is going to dispense with the common chronological survey of the English novel. He imagines that all the English novelists are sitting in a room, at the same time writing their fiction. He goes on to talk about "the story" and "people" which contains the famous division of character between flat characters and round ones. In "the plot" he gives his famous example of the ki ...more
The final test of a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot...more
One take away lesson: the Fantastic - Prophetic Axis... i.e. the fantastic asks something extra of the reader and the prophetic asks something extra of the character... discuss.
That being said… I was in Manchester a few months ago to give a talk at the University. While catching ...more
I hired this book out of the library because I am a writer ...more
Also, it all suffers from referencing a lot of novels as examples which are no longer well known. I agree with him on Sterne and Dickens, partly agree about Austin and Hardy and am n ...more
Forster defines the novel as "any fictitious prose work over 50,000 words." The seven aspects he discusses are story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm. He compares the novel's texture and form to those of a symphony and be ...more
Even though E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel was first written and used for lectures inside the classroom at Trinity College, Cambridge, I cannot help but to imagine sitting in a stuffy classroom, loosening my collar, briefly staring out the window onto a sunny spring day in 1927 only to be drawn back to a powerful sermon concerning the craft of writing, given by a professional who knew what he was talking about. For some readers this book may be considered archaic; I consider it anachronisti ...more
How great would it have been to have been present at these lectures? Or, maybe not. Because today I can dogear pages and make notes in the margins and type up this revie ...more
He had five ...more