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Book Title: The Life to Come and Other Stories|
The author of the book: E.M. Forster
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
Date of issue: August 17th 1987
ISBN 13: 9780393304428
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 415 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.3
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The fourteen stories in this book span six decades—from 1903 to 1957 or even later—and represent every phase of Forster's career as a writer. Only two have ever been published, and those only in magazines to which few people have easy access.
Two very different reasons caused the other twelve to remain unpublished in Forster's lifetime. One was his diffidence, which in his earlier years led him to belittle work that had failed to find immediate acceptance. There are four such stories in this volume, and it is hard, today, to understand why they were rejected by the same editors who were publishing his other early work.
The remaining stories were disbarred from publication by their overtly homosexual themes; instead they were shown to an appreciative circle of friends and fellow writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, and T. E. Lawrence, who considered one story "the most powerful thing I have ever read." The stories differ widely. One is a cheerful political satire; another has, most unusually for Forster, a historical setting; a third is the fictional equivalent of one of those comic picture-postcards that so delighted George Orwell. Others give serious and powerful expression to some of Forster's profoundest concerns.
The significance of these stories in relation to Forster's famous abandonment of the novel is discussed by Oliver Stallybrass in his introduction.
"[These stories] are often brilliant, aware both of the strictly contemporary...the contrast between Greek and Christian; between 'Goth' and Christian; between spontaneity and duty in matters sensual and instinctive. In short, they bring up all Forster's usual preoccupations and at the same time orchestrate the new song and play it loud and clear." —World
—From the dust jacket flap
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Read information about the authorEdward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M. Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".
He had five novels published in his lifetime, achieving his greatest success with A Passage to India (1924) which takes as its subject the relationship between East and West, seen through the lens of India in the later days of the British Raj.
Forster's views as a secular humanist are at the heart of his work, which often depicts the pursuit of personal connections in spite of the restrictions of contemporary society. He is noted for his use of symbolism as a technique in his novels, and he has been criticised for his attachment to mysticism. His other works include Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908) and Maurice (1971), his posthumously published novel which tells of the coming of age of an explicitly gay male character.
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