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Only Connect

E. M. Forster’s Legacies in British Fiction

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Edited By Elsa Cavalié and Laurent Mellet

Since Forster’s death in 1970, many British novelists and film directors have acknowledged and even claimed the influence of the novelist of the English soul (in Woolf’s terms) and of a renewed faith in both human relationships and a quintessentially British liberal-humanism. After the ethical turn at the end of the twentieth century, British literature today seems to go back even more drastically to the figure of the individual human being, and to turn the narrative space into some laboratory of a new form of empowerment of the other’s political autonomy. It is in this context that the references to Forster are more and more frequent, both in British fiction and in academia. This book does not only aim at spotting and theorising this return to Forster today. Rather we endeavour to trace its genealogy and shed light on the successive modes of the legacy, from Forster’s first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) onwards, to the novelisation of Forster himself by Damon Galgut. How can the principle of connection, of correspondences and echoes, which informed Forster’s private life and approach to writing so much, equally characterise the aesthetic and political influence of his œuvre?

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Elsa Cavalié and Laurent Mellet Introduction: Forster and After.............................................................9 Part I. New perspectives on Forster: personal legacies Jeremy Tambling Civilization and Natural Depravity: On Forster, Melville, Lawrence, and Britten ......................................27 Tim Mackin Reconstructing Knowledge in A Passage to India .............................47 Aude Haffen ‘Well, my England is E. M.’: Christopher Isherwood and E. M. Forster’s Alliance through their Correspondence ..............57 Jean-Christophe Murat The Issues of Liberal Humanism and the Condition of England from E. M. Forster to Angus Wilson ..................................................77 Part II. Ethical legacies: from Forster to contemporary British fiction Jean-Michel Ganteau 95 He Cared: Forster, McEwan, and the Ethics of Attentiveness............95 6 Contents Marie Laniel Tracing ‘the Heart’s Imagination’ in Contemporary British Fiction ..................................................................................113 Yi-Chuang E. Lin The Subject/Object Commodity: From Forster’s Howards End to Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go ..................................................129 Christina Root ‘Her Way of Walking’: Explorations of Nature and the Unseen in Forster’s Howards End and Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways ....145 Maaz Bin Bilal E. M. Forster’s Place in the Long Discourse of Friendship ..............161 Part III. Aesthetic legacies: ‘Only connect’? Catherine Lanone ‘Common Garden Variety’ or ‘Rare Bird’: The Persistence of E. M. Forster’s Singular Song ............................175 N. Cyril Fischer In Timeless Company: E. M. Forster and J. M. Coetzee ..................195 Nour Dakkak Walking, Strolling and Trailing: Ivory’s Adaptation of Movement in Forster’s Howards End ...........................................211 Susan Reid ‘The Muddling of the Arts’: Modernist Rites and Rhythms in Forster, Woolf and McEwan...................................227 Julie Chevaux E. M. Forster and the Obsession for Rhythm: Rewriting ‘The Story of...

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