What Was Forster Thinking About This Week?

E.M. Forster's letters range across numerous subjects - his day-to-day experiences and attitudes, the books he wrote and read, the times he lived in. By sifting through these, undergraduate Colette Sensier and the Cambridge Authors team have put together an unusual virtual diary of what was on Forster's mind at different times of the year. On this page you'll find what he was thinking this week; and this will change regularly. If you wish, you can receive these updates, approximately once a week, by e-mail. Just enter your email address in the box below to receive your own 'Forster's Thought for the Week'. A great variety of thought-provoking material will come through - sometimes sad, sometimes serious, sometimes quirky and even a little objectionable. Do you see things the same way he did?

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WHAT WAS FORSTER THINKING ABOUT THIS WEEK?

In September 1902 he was thinking about art and nudity. In a letter to his friend Edward Dent from Nuremberg about the art galleries of Munich, he described both the Old and New galleries. Of the moderns, he liked Arnold Bocklin. Of the classics, he gave time to Rubens 'and came away more understanding if not more appreciative’. He had a particular criticism: 'Why I cry out against Rubens is because he painted undressed people instead of naked ones. If their clothes haven’t just been torn off them, they are always wondering where they are, and expecting you to wonder. I don’t think it’s an epigram to say that he’s too prudish for me.’ (Source: Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, ed. Mary Lago and P.N. Furbank (London: Collins, 1983-1985), letter of 17 September 1902)


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