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4.0 out of 5 stars Revaluation of Forster, 3 Oct. 2008
This review is from: E.M.Forster (Writers & Their Work) (Paperback)
Forster seems somewat forgotten nowadays besides his near-contemporaries DH Lawrence and Viginia Woolf, which is a pity for Forster's major works are magificent and always relevant. Nicholas Royle (not the novelist but the academic, an authority on Derrida and co-editor of the Oxford Review) here attempts a revaluation in light of Forster's homosexual-themed works "Maurice" and the short stories in "The Life To Come".

Given that deconstruction and Derrida are very (post)modern concerns and Forster was in some ways a very Edwardian novelist, is this a good pairing? Surprisingly so. Or perhaps not, given the increasing influence of Indian philosophy on Forster, which gives him some themes which are oddly close to the concerns of Derrida and post-structuralism - namely the futility of binary oppositions, (post)colonialism, how language orders our thoughts rather than vice-versa, and so on.

In comparison to some of Royle's other works, especially on Derrida, this is a readable, accessible book. Yet at the same time, simply going by the themes and issues mentioned, this is an academic book with academic themes. There's nothing wrong with that as such, but it does limit the interest for the general reader somewhat. If you are interested into scholarly discussion of Forster or are a literary student who wants an introduction to Forster, this book would be ideal for you.
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