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A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.…

A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster (edition 2010)

by Wendy Moffat

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166871,708 (4.09)1
Title:A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster
Authors:Wendy Moffat
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:biography, literary biography, bloomsbury

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A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster by Wendy Moffat



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Esta é a biografia "escondida" de E. M. Forster, em que a vida e a obra do grande autor são vistas (pela primeira vez?) à luz da sua homossexualidade. John Sutherland, na Literary Review, pergunta-se sobre esta biografia de Forster: «Será que quero mesmo saber isto tudo?» e prossegue: «Em minha opinião, este livro mancha a obra de Forster. Não podemos ficar gratos por isso. Mas Moffat (a autora da biografia) fez um trabalho detalhado, e esta é, de certa forma, uma "nova vida"». Uma nova vida que precisava ser contada, dizemos nós... e diz Forster, que deixou indicações detalhadas para evitar a destruição, após a sua morte, dos seus diários secretos, dos seus textos não publicados de caráter homossexual (o romance e vários contos), mencionando também que desejava que toda esta documentação pudesse ser consultado por quem o solicitasse.

Foi também o próprio Forster que nos indicou o quão central na sua vida e na sua escrita era a sua sexualidade: "Eu poderia ter sido um escritor mais famoso, se tivesse escrito mais, ou melhor, se tivesse publicado mais, mas a questão sexual impediu-me disso... [...] Aos 85 anos sinto-me tão irritado com a Sociedade por me ter obrigado a desperdiçar a vida ao condenar criminalmente a homossexualidade. Os subterfúgios, a auto-recriminação que poderia ter sido evitada."

E o trabalho de investigação de Moffat é fabuloso, a sua escrita é sempre rica mas fluente, o seu interesse no detalhe e a sua seleção de citações e apontamentos, de Forster ou dos seus amigos e correspondentes, é preciosa, como no pequeno poema de J.R Ackerley (que tocou fundo um Forster deprimido pela morte do seu amado Mohammed):

"Seeking my dead
Hearing him yet
Saying "Good-bye!"
Hearing his sigh,
Murmured so low,
"Ah, but I know...
You will forget."

ou nas citações de Forster sobre a sua filosofia de vida, como: "How does anything end? One should act as if things last", ou simplesmente, algumas pinceladas da sua escrita, como quando ele se deixa deslumbrar, numa praia deserta do Egito, aos 38 anos e ainda virgem, pela nudez de um egípcio: "I was bathing myself on the deserted beach and a man galloped up on a donkey, stripped, and tried to pull it into the water with him. The lines of a straining nude have always seemed academic to me up to now but hereafter I shall remember red light on them, and ripples like grey ostrich-feathers breaking on the sand."

Esta é, sem dúvida, uma obra monumental, excelentemente escrita e sumamente interessante, porque a vida de Forster o é. ( )
  jmx | Feb 20, 2014 |
E.M. Forster’s brief period of publication produced several of the 20th century’s most beloved novels, including A Room with a View, Howards End, and A Passage to India. Why, then, did Forster choose to stop publishing at such a young age?

In Wendy Moffat’s personable, loving biography, we see that Forster abandoned a life under the watchful eye of the literary public in order to understand and pursue the interconnectedness of humanity in his own life. Forster is a fascinating character: a late-bloomer, a devoted son, a natural idealist, and a reluctant cynic. A Great Unrecorded History is a terrific defense of his post-publication writing life, as it places both his life and work in the context of the sexual politics of the early 20th century. ( )
  circumspice | Aug 19, 2013 |
Is art born out of hysteria? Or does sexual fulfillment kill the creative urges? In Forster's case, he wrote a handful of great novels while still in denial and in the closet (which seems to have been located in the home he shared with his domineering mom - obviously). After Forster came to terms with his homosexuality, he seems to have become a slightly creepy ageing queen who preyed on ostenstibly straight younger men from the lower social orders and replaced his creative urges with a quick wank behind the sheds - all the while staying firmly closeted, of course. It is sad that a man with such undeniable talent focused so much on what should have been a minor element of his life, even terminating his public writing career because he felt he couldn't write freely about his feelings. This biography focuses on what may indeed have been the single most important issue in Forster's life (and not unjustly so, since homosexuality was still a punishable offence for most of his life), but it makes for a rather thin story. ( )
  fist | Mar 9, 2013 |
Well researched without being starchy and academic, this biography of E.M. Forster hits all the right notes. In Moffat's hands, Forster's slow acceptance of his sexuality illuminates his trajectory as a author, giving insight into the evolution from Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room with a View, to Howard's End and Maurice. Recommended. ( )
  mikerr | Feb 4, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Forster’s biographers have always had to make sense of their subject’s decision to withhold “Maurice,” his novel about homosexual lovers, for posthumous publication. (It appeared in 1971.) But none of those biographers have had either the will or the wherewithal to concentrate as closely on Forster’s sexuality as Wendy Moffat, an impressive first-time biographer who teaches at Dickinson College. In “A Great Unrecorded History,” she offers an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself but who deemed “Maurice” to be “unpublishable until my death and England’s.”
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374166781, Hardcover)


With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual— though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster’s homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde’s imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life—a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.

A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat’s decade of detective work—including first-time interviews with Forster’s friends—has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster’s public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers us a radically new view—revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster— and modern gay history—from a completely new angle.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Drawing on first-time interviews with E. M. Forster's friends, the author integrates Forster's public and private lives, shining a light on his life through the lens of his homosexuality, in a biography that invites readers to see Forster, and modern gay history, from a completely new angle.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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