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Image of Germany

Posted by Franz (139.18.112.26) on :18:30:08 06/11/02

I am to write a course essay on the image of Germany in Forster's novels and essays. I know that he was in Germany at the turn of the century, and I also know that Howards End must be important in terms of the relation to Germany.

Do you have further ideas?

Thank you in advance.

Germany

Posted by Laura (board editor) on 09:27:24 07/11/02

Hello Franz,
There are of course references to Germany in 'Howards End' - and the German heritage of the Schlegels may indicate that it is seen as a rather romantic and intellectual realm, yet, on the other hand, the cousin from Germany that visits the Schlegels (I can't recollect the name, she is also present at the famous Beethoven concert) is a rather unimaginative person. Beethoven is a rather obvious connection of course, and what might interest you is that Forster wrote the script for a war documentary called 'A Diary for Timothy', in which he says about Beethoven that to some, it is the most beautiful music in the whole world (of course this included him). This documentary also shows Shakespeare extracts and it seems to imply (do note this documentary was made during the war, although it wasn't released until afterwards) that the realm of art is a residence for the soul, excempt from nationality or war, and for the ultra-personal (utterly in keeping with Forster's emphasis on personal relationships). I think your theme is a very interesting one. If you would like a reading tip on this: you should certainly take a look at the chapter 'Nassenheide' from P.N. Furbank's excellent biography 'E.M. Forster: A Life'. Most good libraries have a copy of it, and you can find it at many online secondhand book stores. This chapter deals with his time in Germany and his relation with the novelist Elizabeth von Arnim. I hope you will write a great essay!


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