Jennifer's Reviews > Aspects of the Novel

Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
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Not exactly a how-to guide or a critique, Forster very basically explains different aspects of the novel through a series of lectures he gave in the late 1920s. A lot of the books that he refers to I’ve never read and probably never will (Les Faux Monnayeurs, not so much interested in), but he usually includes enough detail of the story or character that you get his point.
The tone is pretty casual, which makes it an easy read and while the aspects he covers are very basic - the story, the plot, what makes a character flat or round - it was compelling enough to keep me reading.
I particularly liked the last couple chapters. His point about what elevates a book beyond being preachy to being prophetic is perfectly highlighted by his example from Adam Bede and The Brothers Karamazov.
I love Forster's novels and I think in the final chapter, Pattern and Rhythm, when he writes of how music is like fiction, he really seems to sum up his idea of the novel:
“Expansion. That is the idea the novelist must cling to. Not completion. Not rounding off but opening out. When the symphony is over we feel that the notes and tunes composing it have been liberated, they have found in the rhythm of the whole their individual freedom. Cannot the novel be like that? “
Yes, cannot it?

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 17, 2008 – Shelved

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