Distant desire : the theme of friendship in E.M. Forster's fiction
Bakshi, Parminder Kaur, 1957- (1992) Distant desire : the theme of friendship in E.M. Forster's fiction. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1415142~S15
This thesis places Forster's fiction in the homosexual tradition of English literature and presents, for the first time, a full exposition of the homoerotic motifs in each of Forster's novels. Homoerotic desire has been only partially recognized in Forster's texts, but as the following chapters show the desire for male love is pervasive and affects the structure and techniques of Forster's writing. Homoerotic desire in Forster's fiction attaches to the ideal of friendship and the theme of friendship is invariably connected with the metaphor of journey. Forster uses the metaphor of journey to transport his narratives beyond the confines of English middle-class values to a region where relations between men are acceptable. A homosexual reading of Forster's texts has several implications for his work. Firstly, it emerges that Forster's novels are covert texts which convey the ideal of male love evasively, by strategies of deferment and delay. Secondly, the author's interest in another country, Italy or India, is not for the sake of those countries but allied to homoerotic desire. Lastly, for all the apparent dissimilarities between them, all of Forster's novels variously approach homoerotic desire; the themes of journey and friendship are common to all the novels. The chapters of this thesis demonstrate the way homoerotic desire operates in Forster's narratives. This involves a close reading of the text and an alertness to the novelist's manipulation of language. The thesis reinterprets passages from Forster's novels that previously have either been overlooked or dismissed as obscure. Forster's treatment of homoerotic love in all his novels, except Maurice, is problematic. The narrator's attempts to conceal the real tendency of his narratives creates a tension between the explicit statements and the undercurrents in his texts. The conflict is never resolved, but it gives the novels the odd, peculiar quality that is characteristic of Forster's writing. Forster occupies a unique, if dubious position, in English literature as a homosexual writer whose work has been entirely assimilated into the mainstream, heterosexual tradition.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PR English literature|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970 -- Criticism and interpretation, Male homosexuality in literature, Male friendship in literature, Travel in literature|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
|Extent:||ix, 400 p.|
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