Jane Austen and E.M. Forster
Posted by MB on January 28, 1998 at 16:24:12:
This is from the introduction to my copy of Howard's End, but I found it somewhat relevant to the "What did JA think of her society?" thread below.
"The author of Howard's End had become a hero among critics of the left -- thoughtful liberals such as (Lionel) Trilling, who were scornful of Comes-the-Revolution cant about the imminent transformation of human nature. Forster shared the hopes of those working for social and economic change within the framework of democratic society, but not the dream of sudden political cures for human woe. After reading Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago, he remarked to a friend that 'it makes you feel a revolution is never worth it.' And he was troubled by the moral vanity and the penchant for oversimplification pervasive among proponent of radical change...
"But Howard's End is continuous in achievement with A Room With a View, and the achievement isn't that of a political novelist. It belongs rather to a genius creator of intimacy -- a comprehensively thoughtful, fundamentally unpolitical literary artist whose writing conjoined two kinds of knowledge quite extraordinarily different : as different as worldliness and unwordliness."
The parts in bold especially seemed to apply to Austen as well. IMO, at least!
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