1879-1970, British Novelist, Essayist
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.
Edward M. Forster – [Ceremony]
America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to be large.
Edward M. Forster – [America]
Art for art's sake? I should think so, and more so than ever at the present time. It is the one orderly product which our middling race has produced. It is the cry of a thousand sentinels, the echo from a thousand labyrinths, it is the lighthouse which cannot be hidden… it is the best evidence we can have of our dignity.
Edward M. Forster – [Arts and Artists]
As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider.
Edward M. Forster – [Examinations]
At night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers, my books attain a collective dignity.
Edward M. Forster – [Dignity]
Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due — she reminds us too much of a prima donna.
Edward M. Forster – [Beauty]
Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.
Edward M. Forster – [Writers and Writing]
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.
Edward M. Forster – [Curiosity]
Death destroys a man, the idea of Death saves him.
Edward M. Forster – [Death and Dying]
Failure or success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle.
Edward M. Forster – [Destiny]
Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible.
Edward M. Forster – [Faith]
How can I know what I think till I see what I say?
Edward M. Forster – [Thoughts and Thinking]
I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It's one of the curses of London.
Edward M. Forster – [Acquaintance]
I distrust Great Men. They produce a desert of uniformity around them and often a pool of blood too, and I always feel a little man's pleasure when they come a cropper.
Edward M. Forster – [Greatness]
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.
Edward M. Forster – [Character]
I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
Edward M. Forster – [Books and Reading]
Ideas are fatal to caste.
Edward M. Forster – [Ideas]
If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
Edward M. Forster – [Betrayal]
Life — No, I've nothing to teach you about it for the moment. May be writing about it another week.
Edward M. Forster – [Life and Living]
Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish! How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
Edward M. Forster – [Logic]