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Aspects of the Novel (1927)

by E. M. Forster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,303396,810 (3.8)1 / 111
A series of nine lectures covering the story, plot, characterization, pattern and rhythm in the novel.
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» See also 111 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
I've been wanting to listen to something educational about the novel, but not often such things are on audiobook, so I was excited when this popped up.

Written by a novelist with impeccable authority to teach me something.

And I was surprised it was chatty with personal opinion.

The narrator, Jonathan Keeble, says, on behalf of the author, that he is delivering the book in a lecturing style, however, and he is. But Keeble is reading not lecturing. He is speaking much faster - he is absolutely racing through the words - than he would if he were lecturing. Annoyingly so. I cannot take it all in and must listen several times to get what I want from this book. ( )
  Okies | Jan 5, 2024 |
Occasionally interesting.(25) ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
With little patience for long introductions, one sentence stands out:

"Books have to be read (worse luck, for it takes a long time);
it is the only way of discovering what they contain."

Unfortunately, Forster adds little more humor and strands us with:

"History develops, Art stands still." Hmm or Huh.
Well...not for the brilliant art and music and words which have been created
in his time and since...

The author proceeds with examples dominated by negativity,
maybe so he can reinforce his own critical judgements, with
disturbing "tapeworm" imagery.

Toward the middle, he makes a memorable point:

"...the inherent defect of novels: they go off at the end."

With "round' and "flat" characters, he immerses into his cycle
of supremely tedious verbiage, with little relenting. ( )
  m.belljackson | Mar 20, 2023 |
This is great! Even without having read all the authors mentioned or even having heard of a couple whose reputations have faded out since 1927 when this series of talks were given, there is so much here! And it is so lightly delivered. Forester does underestimate Austen's capabilities, but then as a man perhaps what he didn't see displayed he assumed didn't exist. ( )
  quondame | Aug 9, 2022 |
E.M. Forster's book, "Aspects of the Novel" is fascinating.
The book has been compiled from a series of lectures he delivered on the topic.

It harks back to a time when writing was lyrical, compared to the things we read today. You must create time to read books like this. I am going to repeat - you must create the time, and not merely have the time.

He has covered various aspects of the novel - the characters, the plot, fantasy and more. While doing so, he has also compared how different writers have dealt with these aspects.

It helps if you have some familiarity with Dostoevsky, Proust, Tolstoy, Bronte, Joyce, HG Well, Henry James etc.

Read the book, because of way he has dealt with the subject, and also because of the sheer joy that you will get from the book. ( )
  RajivC | May 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forster, E. M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kermode, FrankIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korn, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, GrahamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallybrass, OliverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Charles Mauron
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This lectureship is connected with the name of William George Clark, a Fellow of Trinity.
The final test of a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A series of nine lectures covering the story, plot, characterization, pattern and rhythm in the novel.

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