A revaluation of E.M. Forster's fiction

Herbert, John Richard James (2013). A revaluation of E.M. Forster's fiction. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis seeks to re-examine the nature of E.M. Forster’s fiction and its place within the canon of modernist writers, examining criticism of Forster’s fiction and claims that it is transitional in its relation to modernism, founded on a liberal humanist outlook antithetical to modernist innovation. The thesis contends that this is a misreading of turn of the century Liberalism, taking Forster’s friend Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson as an inspiration for Forster’s political and stylistic beliefs, articulated in the latter’s fiction. Following a survey of New Liberalism, the thesis compares Dickinson’s and Forster’s politics and dialogism, charting how Forster transformed Dickinson’s dialogic method into polyphonic prose. After a survey of other self-reflexive narrative practices in Forster’s prose that might also be considered modernist, the thesis turns to Forster’s dialogic construction of inter-negating discourses at play for dominance throughout his fiction. It uses a model of social intervention derived from New Liberalism as the model for articulating the coercive attempts of discourses to gain dominance as truth over individual subjects, focusing particularly on emerging discourses of homosexual identity and their dialogic relation in Forster’s fiction. The thesis claims that Forster’s fiction is dialogic and liberal in its modernism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4184


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