The novelist Colm Toibin has written a brilliant review in the New York Times today — a review of Wendy Moffat’s new Forster biography (published by FSG).
The part I most loved was this paragraph:
“…There is a strange moment in Moffat’s book when she refers to “Maurice” as Forster’s “only truly honest novel.” But “Maurice” is, while fascinating in its own way, also his worst. Perhaps there is a connection between its badness and its “honesty,” because novels should not be honest. They are a pack of lies that are also a set of metaphors; because the lies and metaphors are chosen and offered shape and structure, they may indeed represent the self, or the play between the unconscious mind and the conscious will, but they are not forms of self-expression, or true confession…”
This is a brilliant formulation of the novel. I couldn’t agree more whole-heartedly.
With the whole heart?
All of the heart, in agreement.