17th October

In October 1922 he was thinking about Virginia Woolf’s novel Jacob’s Room. In a letter to the author, he expressed relief that she had created 'the reader’s interest in at least one of the characters as a character – if that goes we merely swing about in blobs of amusement or pathos’. Although he called it 'beautiful’ overall, this was doubled-edged praise, making adverse comparison with other experimental work. He remarked on what he felt was the book’s welcome emotional outlook: Jacob’s Room 'is seen through happiness, you have got quite clear from the sensitive sorrower whom novelists cadge up to as the easiest medium for observations’. (Source: Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, ed. Mary Lago and P.N. Furbank (London: Collins, 1983-1985), letter of 24 October 1922)

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