Tag Archives: E.M. Forster

The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature by Bill Goldstein

The World Broke In Two Title: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature
Author: Bill Goldstein
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN: 978-0805094022
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Literary Non-Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 Stars

To want to read a book since a while and then to actually read it and not be disappointed by it is kicking Murphy’s behind. I had to say this because I was apprehensive about whether or not I would enjoy reading “The World Broke in Two”. I love books centered around literary events and what happened in the past between authors and what were the circumstances like. You get the drift. This book is about the year 1922 and four authors that changed the course of English Literature – Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Stearns Eliot, and Edward Morgan Foster. Each battling with their personal demons and on the side trying to make sense of their professional lives and where they fit in in the scheme of things.

“The World Broke in Two” is a fascinating read and I don’t mean it in the loose sense of the word. I really do mean it. If you have interest in history, books, the creative process, and more so the changes that took place after WWI, then this is the book for you. I don’t mean to broaden the scope of this book, but it can be classified over genres and that is also the beauty of this title.

What I loved the most about this book is how Goldstein brings to fore the various writing processes of these four authors. He describes the process in detail, not to forget the anguish of these writers, the self-loathing at most times and how they also learned from each other. For instance, how E.M. Forster learned from Woolf when she gave him a copy of Jacob’s room. The book is layered with anecdotes and what is wondrous is that it is almost like a Russian doll when it comes to discovering more books to read for a novice reader. Goldstein very tactfully blends the historical with the literary – neither of which feel too much of at any given point in the book. The book if anything, reads like a novel.

Goldstein does not shy away from speaking of the authors’ mental and physical challenges and how they sometimes became an impediment and at others a catalyst to surge ahead. “The World Broke in Two” is a stunning read about four authors, the worlds inhabited by them and at the core of it, their writing which is paramount to this book.

Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut

Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut Title: Arctic Summer
Author: Damon Galgut
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
ISBN: 9789382277255
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

There is this charm to old-world stories and to people who lived then. `This is even more true when it comes to writers and what they write and sometimes what they do not or what they were supposed to, but did not. E.M. Forster is one such writer. He wrote what he did and at the same time, he could only talk about his orientation in hushed tones, in the form of Maurice. He wanted to write his last novel – called Arctic Summer, but could not.

Damon Galgut takes a slice of life (and a very important slice) of Forster’s life – the creation of A Passage to India and builds his tale around it. Of course, most of it is rooted in fact, but it is Galgut’s voice that is unique and fresh when narrating this tale, most unusual and of how inspiration or muses can make or break you.

E.M. Forster became friends with Syed Ross Masood, on one of his trips. Masood was in England to study law from India and returned to India in 1912. Forster followed him to India and what followed then was this love that he had for Masood – this overpowering, passionate and mad love, which he could do nothing about. Morgan (as he was fondly known) then went back to India in 1924 and the twelve year gap is the time when A Passage to India was thought and written.

Galgut’s voice is strong and taut. The homosexuality love and aspect of it is not in hush tones and at the same time it does not jump at you from the pages. Galgut has evoked the life of E.M. Forster with brilliance and knack. The writing is subtle, emotional (well not too much) and also overwhelming to a large extent. “Arctic Summer” is one of those unconventional books that deserve a reread as well and my bet is when the monsoons come along.

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