E. M. Forster (18791970)
Quotations


I have only got down on to paper, really, three types of people: the person I think I am, the people who irritate me, and the people I'd like to be.

It is not that the Englishman can't feel--it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks--his pipe might fall out if he did.

Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish! How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?

One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.

The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.

The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.

Those who prepared for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.

A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man.

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.

The country is not paradise, and can show the vices that grieve a good man everywhere. But there is room in it, and leisure.

There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.

Curiosity is one of the lowest of the human faculties. You will have noticed in daily life that when people are inquisitive they nearly always have bad memories and are usually stupid at bottom.

Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible.

The final test for a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot define.

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.

The more highly public life is organized the lower does its morality sink.

We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

The people I respect most behave as if they were immortal and as if society was eternal.



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