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Aspects of the Novel Kindle Edition
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Some of the key concepts are ones he was (I think) the first to articulate. He formulates the distinction between the `story' (the sequence of events, where we ask `what will happen next?') and the `plot' (the events linked by causality, where we ask `why?'). He disputes with Aristotle (emotion isn't only in action, but in our internal secret lives, to which the novelist has access). He demonstrates the difference between flat characters (unchanging and `constructed round a single idea' like Mrs Macawber's loyalty to her husband) and round ones (`capable of surprising in a convincing way'). He looks at how characters are different from real people (they spend most time loving and desiring rather than eating and sleeping!). How points of view (omniscient, free indirect) can be mixed and matched. How novelists persuade us to accept the fantastic (whether in terms of coincidences or angels). How patterns work (the structuring of the plot and of symbols). And what the future of the novel might be (when individuals, through social and personal change, start to look at themselves in a new way, novels, he claims, will find new ways of representing things).
The style is witty and full of nice lines. `[The pseudo-scholar] loves mentioning genius, because the sound of the word exempts him from discovering its meaning.' `Speculations... always have a large air about them, they are a convenient way of being helpful or impressive.Read more ›
A quarter of a century after the novel was recognised as literature (before Henry James' "The Art of Fiction" only poetry and drama deserved the name) and in the peak period of the modernism (this book was written exactly between the publications of "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake") Forster presented his personal view of fiction in a quiet and unassuming but clear and rational way. The resulting book is fairly unrevolutionary for the period of turmoil and change but it has stood the test of time at least as well as the modern experiments.
"Aspects of the Novel" is one of the books which keep the readers repeating to themselves: "But I know this!" Yes, you do. But it was E. M. Forster who said it first.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the bible for any aspiring novelist. A must-read. If you want to write, then you must read this seminal work by Forster.Published 18 months ago by Mr. John D'Arcy
One for the shelves that helps us to understand the novel in greater detail. As it deals mainly with older works, it is a bit dated, but great for academic study.Published 20 months ago by Ms Cyprah
So unassuming that Woolf called him The Mole, Forster restores the good name of belles lettres in this deceptively intelligent, determinedly unbuttoned critical exercise. Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2015 by Mr. G. Morgan
Great, book needed for uni studies, good for those who are interested in writing as I needed this for my creative writing part of my English Degree.Published on 27 Mar. 2013 by Sharfa Sorwar
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