Quotations From E.M. (EDWARD MORGAN) FORSTER

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  • We must exclude someone from our gathering, or we shall be left with nothing.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. A Passage to India, pt. I, ch. 4 (1924).
  • Be soft, even if you stand to get squashed.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "The Long Run," The New Statesman and Nation 16 (1938).
  • He neglects to come.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. A Passage to India, pt. I, ch. 7 (1924). Professor Godbole on Krishna.
  • No man can be an agnostic who has a sense of humour.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. The Longest Journey, pt. I, ch. 10 (1907). Emily Failing speaking to Rickie.
  • 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.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "A Book that Influenced Me," Two Cheers for Democracy (1951).

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  • One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. (First published 1935). "T.E. Lawrence," Abinger Harvest (1936).
  • If there is on earth a house with many mansions, it is the house of words.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "Anonymity: An Inquiry," pt. II (1925), in Two Cheers for Democracy (1951).

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  • I have no mystic faith in the people. I have in the individual.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "The Challenge of Our Time," pt. I (1946), in Two Cheers for Democracy (1951). Originally from a radio broadcast.

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  • Solidity, caution, integrity, efficiency. Lack of imagination, hypocrisy. These qualities characterize the middle classes in every country, but in England they are national characteristics.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. "Notes on the English Character," pt. I (1920), in Abinger Harvest (1936).

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  • Our life on earth is, and ought to be, material and carnal. But we have not yet learned to manage our materialism and carnality properly; they are still entangled with the desire for ownership.
    E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. repr. In Abinger Harvest (1927). "My Wood," (1926).

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