am 15. Juli 2016
Forster was, of course, a wonderful novelist, so who am I to criticise what he has to say about novels? Nonetheless – as readable and entertaining as these transcripts from a lecture series are – this book seems somewhat imprecise and wordy by today's standards. While there is much insight in these pages (the force of causality in fiction, for instance), Forster grapples with abstractions without really managing to lock them down. Perhaps practitioners are not always the best people to analyse their own craft.
am 27. Januar 2008
Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster, addresses both readers and aspiring writers--and gives example after example of literary masterpieces and offers techniques for writing more attentively, for noticing and thrilling in the language on the page. It comes from the wisdom of a seasoned teachers of literature, longtime journalists and host of other collected articles, and the author of fourteen works of fiction. E.M. Forster has a guarded enthusiasm for MFA programs; the book, in part, is a criticism of where some of the MFA program culture has gone astray, as if some writing workshops have become unmoored from the literary masterpieces that inspired them. If I had to really characterize the book I'd say it's about the pleasure of learning to write.
am 6. Juni 2000
ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL follows the text of a series of lectures E. M. Forster gave at Cambridge in 1927. He departed boldly from convention by trying to get his listeners to picture the great novelists of history writing at the same time in the same room--this to protect us from the pseudo-scholarly impulse to classify by period without a careful exploration of themes. Who is a psuedo-scholar? Anyone who "loves mentioning [the] genius [of a novelist], because the sound of the word exempts him from trying to discover its meaning." No longer guilty, I hope!
Forster helps facilitate that all-important struggle with the writer that will give us the most enjoyment and edification from literature. He does so by examining seven "aspects": The Story, People, The Plot, Fantasy, Prophecy, Pattern and Rhythm. Examples drawn from the likes of Sterne, Melville, Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Henry James help illustrate his logically and lucid points. As a practitioner and a critic of the novel, Forster is both engaged with his topic and engaging in his exposition. Highly recommended for both the serious novel reader and the literature student needing a breather from the oppressiveness of Theory.
am 17. Dezember 1998
As with all writer's writings about their own works, Aspects of the Novel is critical in at least an historical and structural reading of Forster's works (it helps in terms of hermoneutics as well). Also contained are shreds of Forster's own philosophy, an argument for an Hegelian study of the novels, and clues to the meaning and importance of his short fiction.