Homosexuality is the key to E. M. Forster's personal life, but not to his work. For that we must look to his desire to grapple with the contradictions and dangers of living the moral life.
Concerning E. M. Forster
by Frank Kermode
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As literary careers go, E. M. Forster's had a singular, storied arc: a remarkable burst of creative energy that produced five books in the seven years from 1905 to 1911 (Where Angels Fear to Tread, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Howards End, and The Celestial Omnibus, the last of which appeared when the author was all of thirty-two), and an equally stupendous—and, to his contemporaries, stupefying—silence, which followed the publication of A Passage to India in 1924 until his death in 1970 at the age of ninety-one.
"Perhaps his future biographer will be able to explain," Lionel Trilling wrote as early as 1943, Forster's "possibly permanent retirement after the great success of his last novel." Biographers had that explanation handed to them in the form of a pair of books "about homosexual love" (Maurice
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