Inspirational Quotations by E. M. Forster (#665)

Inspirational Quotations by E. M. Forster

Today marks the birthday of E. M. Forster (1879–1970,) an influential British novelist and short story-writer.

Forster published Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907,) and A Room with a View (1908.) He hit literary success with his fourth novel, Howards End (1910,) about the class system in England as exposed through the pursuits of three families.

'A Passage to India' by E. M. Forster (ISBN 0156711427) During World War I, Forster worked for the Red Cross in Egypt and traveled all over the world. During a visit to India, he was inspired to write his masterpiece A Passage to India (1924.) Set during the British colonial rule in India, this best-selling, much-debated novel is about a young British schoolteacher who imagines being sexually assaulted by an Indian-Muslim doctor. She accuses him of attempted rape, but later retracts her charges. Considered one of the great novels of the 20th century, A Passage to India exposed the undercurrent of conflict and prejudice between the British and Indian cultures.

After publishing five novels before age 40, Forster never published any other novels during his lifetime. He subsequently wrote numerous short stories.

Forster wrote his sixth and last novel on the eve of the First World War and considered it among his best writing, but did not want it to be published in his lifetime because of its homosexual themes. Maurice (1971) was published posthumously to great renown.

Inspirational Quotations by E. M. Forster

Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.
E. M. Forster

Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle.
E. M. Forster

Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don’t believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art’s sake.
E. M. Forster

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.
E. M. Forster

Lord I disbelieve—help thou my unbelief.
E. M. Forster

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.
E. M. Forster

There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.
E. M. Forster

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.
E. M. Forster

Death destroys a man, the idea of Death saves him.
E. M. Forster

Those who prepared for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.
E. M. Forster

One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.
E. M. Forster

Art for art’s sake? I should think so, and more so than ever at the present time. It is the one orderly product which our middling race has produced. It is the cry of a thousand sentinels, the echo from a thousand labyrinths, it is the lighthouse which cannot be hidden… it is the best evidence we can have of our dignity.
E. M. Forster

Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due—she reminds us too much of a prima donna.
E. M. Forster

I have only got down on to paper, really, three types of people: the person I think I am, the people who irritate me, and the people I’d like to be.
E. M. Forster

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