Zitate von E. M. Forster

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E. M. Forster

Geburtstag: 1. Januar 1879
Todesdatum: 7. Juni 1970
Andere Namen: Е. М. Форстер

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Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH war ein englischer Erzähler und zeitweise Mitglied der Bloomsbury Group.

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Zitate E. M. Forster

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„How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?“

—  E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel
Aspects of the Novel (1927), Chapter Five: The Plot

„I never expect anything to happen now, and so I am never disappointed. You would be surprised to know what my great events are. Going to the theatre yesterday, talking to you now — I don't suppose I shall ever meet anything greater.“

—  E.M. Forster, book Where Angels Fear to Tread
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), Context: I never expect anything to happen now, and so I am never disappointed. You would be surprised to know what my great events are. Going to the theatre yesterday, talking to you now — I don't suppose I shall ever meet anything greater. I seem fated to pass through the world without colliding with it or moving it — and I'm sure I can't tell you whether the fate's good or evil. I don't die — I don't fall in love. And if other people die or fall in love they always do it when I'm just not there. You are quite right; life to me is just a spectacle, which — thank God, and thank Italy, and thank you — is now more beautiful and heartening than it has ever been before. Ch. 8

„Her idea of business — "Henry, why do people who have enough money try to get more money?" Her idea of politics — "I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars," Her idea of religion — ah, this had been a cloud, but a cloud that passed.“

—  E.M. Forster, book Howards End
Howards End (1910), Context: He remembered his wife's even goodness during thirty years. Not anything in detail — not courtship or early raptures —but just the unvarying virtue, that seemed to him a woman's noblest quality. So many women are capricious, breaking into odd flaws of passion or frivolity. Not so his wife. Year after year, summer and winter, as bride and mother, she had been the same, he had always trusted her. Her tenderness! Her innocence! The wonderful innocence that was hers by the gift of God. Ruth knew no more of worldly wickedness and wisdom than did the flowers in her garden, or the grass in her field. Her idea of business — "Henry, why do people who have enough money try to get more money?" Her idea of politics — "I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars," Her idea of religion — ah, this had been a cloud, but a cloud that passed. She came of Quaker stock, and he and his family, formerly Dissenters, were now members of the Church of England. The rector's sermons had at first repelled her, and she had expressed a desire for "a more inward light," adding, "not so much for myself as for baby" (Charles). Inward light must have been granted, for he heard no complaints in later years. They brought up their three children without dispute. They had never disputed. She lay under the earth now. She had gone, and as if to make her going the more bitter, had gone with a touch of mystery that was all unlike her. Ch. 11

„This woman was a goddess to the end. For her no love could be degrading: she stood outside all degradation.“

—  E.M. Forster, book Where Angels Fear to Tread
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), Context: This woman was a goddess to the end. For her no love could be degrading: she stood outside all degradation. This episode, which she thought so sordid, and which was so tragic for him, remained supremely beautiful. To such a height was he lifted, that without regret he could now have told her that he was her worshipper too. But what was the use of telling her? For all the wonderful things had happened. "Thank you," was all that he permitted himself. "Thank you for everything." Ch. 10

„Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talks that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence.“

—  E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
A Passage to India (1924), Context: Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talks that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim, “I do enjoy myself", or, “I am horrified,” we are insincere. Ch. 14

„Romance only dies with life. No pair of pincers will ever pull it out of us.“

—  E.M. Forster, book Where Angels Fear to Tread
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), Context: Romance only dies with life. No pair of pincers will ever pull it out of us. But there is a spurious sentiment which cannot resist the unexpected and the incongruous and the grotesque. A touch will loosen it, and the sooner it goes from us the better. Ch. 2

„With this type of person knocking about, and constantly crossing one's path if one has eyes to see or hands to feel, the experiment of earthly life cannot be dismissed as a failure.“

—  E.M. Forster
What I Believe (1938), Context: On they go — an invincible army, yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen, the Best People — all the words that describe them are false, and all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority, seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart's affections, and their kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world. With this type of person knocking about, and constantly crossing one's path if one has eyes to see or hands to feel, the experiment of earthly life cannot be dismissed as a failure. But it may well be hailed as a tragedy, the tragedy being that no device has been found by which these private decencies can be transmitted to public affairs. As soon as people have power they go crooked and sometimes dotty as well, because the possession of power lifts them into a region where normal honesty never pays.

„The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.“

—  E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
A Room with a View (1908), Context: The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected. The commonplace person begins to play, and shoots into the empyrean without effort, whilst we look up, marvelling how he has escaped us, and thinking how we could worship him and love him, would he but transalate his visions into human words, and his experiences into human actions. Ch. 3

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„Most of us will be eclectics to this side or that according to our temperament. The human mind is not a dignified organ, and I do not see how we can exercise it sincerely except through eclecticism.“

—  E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel
Aspects of the Novel (1927), Context: Most of us will be eclectics to this side or that according to our temperament. The human mind is not a dignified organ, and I do not see how we can exercise it sincerely except through eclecticism. And the only advice I would offer my fellow eclectics is: "Do not be proud of your inconsistency. It is a pity, it is a pity that we should be equipped like this. It is a pity that Man cannot be at the same time impressive and truthful." Chapter Seven: Prophecy

„So two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: there is no occasion to give three.“

—  E.M. Forster
What I Believe (1938), Context: Whether Parliament is either a representative body or an efficient one is questionable, but I value it because it criticizes and talks, and because its chatter gets widely reported. So two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: there is no occasion to give three.

„Tolerance, good temper and sympathy are no longer enough in a world where ignorance rules, and Science, which ought to have ruled, plays the pimp. Tolerance, good temper and sympathy — they are what matter really, and if the human race is not to collapse they must come to the front before long.“

—  E.M. Forster
What I Believe (1938), Context: I do not believe in Belief. But this is an Age of Faith, and there are so many militant creeds that, in self defence, one has to formulate a creed of one's own. Tolerance, good temper and sympathy are no longer enough in a world where ignorance rules, and Science, which ought to have ruled, plays the pimp. Tolerance, good temper and sympathy — they are what matter really, and if the human race is not to collapse they must come to the front before long.

„The Saviour of the future — if ever he comes — will not preach a new Gospel. He will merely utilize my aristocracy, he will make effective the goodwill and the good temper which are already existing.“

—  E.M. Forster
What I Believe (1938), Context: The Saviour of the future — if ever he comes — will not preach a new Gospel. He will merely utilize my aristocracy, he will make effective the goodwill and the good temper which are already existing. In other words, he will introduce a new technique. In economics, we are told that if there was a new technique of distribution there need be no poverty, and people would not starve in one place while crops were being ploughed under in another. A similar change is needed in the sphere of morals and politics. … Not by becoming better, but by ordering and distributing his native goodness, will Man shut up Force into its box, and so gain time to explore the universe and to set his mark upon it worthily. At present he only explores it at odd moments, when Force is looking the other way, and his divine creativeness appears as a trivial by-product, to be scrapped as soon as the drums beat and the bombers hum.

„I realize that all society rests upon force. But all the great creative actions, all the decent human relations, occur during the intervals when force has not managed to come to the front. These intervals are what matter. I want them to be as frequent and as lengthy as possible, and I call them "civilization".“

—  E.M. Forster
What I Believe (1938), Context: I realize that all society rests upon force. But all the great creative actions, all the decent human relations, occur during the intervals when force has not managed to come to the front. These intervals are what matter. I want them to be as frequent and as lengthy as possible, and I call them "civilization". Some people idealize force and pull it into the foreground and worship it, instead of keeping it in the background as long as possible. I think they make a mistake, and I think that their opposites, the mystics, err even more when they declare that force does not exist. I believe that it exists, and that one of our jobs is to prevent it from getting out of its box. It gets out sooner or later, and then it destroys us and all the lovely things which we have made. But it is not out all the time, for the fortunate reason that the strong are so stupid.

„A man does not talk to himself quite truly — not even to himself: the happiness or misery that he secretly feels proceeds from causes that he cannot quite explain, because as soon as he raises them to the level of the explicable they lose their native quality.“

—  E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel
Aspects of the Novel (1927), Context: A man does not talk to himself quite truly — not even to himself: the happiness or misery that he secretly feels proceeds from causes that he cannot quite explain, because as soon as he raises them to the level of the explicable they lose their native quality. The novelist has a real pull here. He can show the subconscious short-circuiting straight into action (the dramatist can do this too); he can also show it in its relation to soliloquy. He commands all the secret life, and he must not be robbed of this privilege. "How did the writer know that?" it is sometimes said. "What's his standpoint? He is not being consistent, he's shifting his point of view from the limited to the omniscient, and now he's edging back again." Questions like this have too much the atmosphere of the law courts about them. Chapter Five: The Plot

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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