In this excerpt from a 1958 BBC interview E.M. Forster, the writer of such classics as ‘A Passage To India’ and ‘Howards End’ explains why he stopped writing fiction at 45 after only having published five novels. He continued working for a further 46 years but only wrote essays, short biographies and literary journalism. Apparently he got left behind. Which is sad. As he says in the interview:
But I think one of the reasons why I stopped writing novels, is that the social aspect of the world changed so very much. I’d been accustomed to write about the old vanished world with its homes and its family life and its comparative peace. All of that went. And though I can think about it I cannot put it into fiction form.
The interview was recorded at King’s College, Cambridge and in it Forster goes on to speak of his life there and his own limitations as a writer, with the same sincerity and humanity that readers will recognise from his novels.
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