29th November

In December 1916 he was thinking about John Keats. In a letter to Malcolm Darling he wondered 'what shall I talk about?’, and decided on Keats. 'How slightly I esteem him! As a poet, not a man.’ The big problem, as Forster saw it, was that 'with Keats sex chanced to be unaesthetic’. He accused Keats of 'shoddy sensuousness’, and 'fatuity, vulgarity, as soon as human passion is touched’. He did say that Keats might have turned out to be a major poet, had he not died so young. (Source: Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, ed. Mary Lago and P.N. Furbank (London: Collins, 1983-1985), letter of 1 December 1916)

Comments are closed.