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E. M. Forster Quotes and Sayings
Quotes by E. M. Forster

I hope you like these E. M. Forster quotes from my collection of quotes about life.

To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art;
men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.
- E. M. Forster

Related topics: Art

The main facts in human life are five:
birth,
food, sleep, love and death.
- E. M. Forster

A poem is true if it hangs together.
Information points to something else.
A poem points to nothing but itself.
- E. M. Forster

Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process,
a sort of mental starch.
- E. M. Forster

 

I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet,
there would be no more wars.
- E. M. Forster

Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in
the material universe to possess internal order,
and that is why, though I don't believe that only art matters,
I do believe in Art for Art's sake.
- E. M. Forster

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- E. M. Forster

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Only a writer who has the sense of evil can make goodness readable.
- E. M. Forster

I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between
betraying my country and betraying my friend,
I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
- E. M. Forster

If there is on earth a house with many mansions,
it is the house of words.
- E. M. Forster

Be soft, even if you stand to get squashed.
- E. M. Forster

Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown.
Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine,
to them, alas!
we return.
- E. M. Forster

The fact is we can only love what we know personally.
And we cannot know much.
In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization,
something less dramatic and emotional is needed,
namely tolerance.
- E. M. Forster

We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand.
- E. M. Forster

Liking one person is an extra reason for liking another.
- E. M. Forster

The woman who can't influence her husband to vote the
way she wants ought to be ashamed of herself.
- E. M. Forster

But nothing in India is identifiable,
the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear
or to merge in something else.
- E. M. Forster

Unless we remember we cannot understand.
- E. M. Forster

What is wonderful about great literature is that it
transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.
- E. M. Forster

Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.
- E. M. Forster

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is
safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance.
In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee,
we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.
- E. M. Forster

I'm a holy man minus the holiness.
- E. M. Forster

At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes,
and a yes, and a yes.
- E. M. Forster

Oxford is Oxford: not a mere receptacle for youth,
like Cambridge.
Perhaps it wants its inmates to love it rather than to love one another.
- E. M. Forster

Paganism is infectious, more infectious than diphtheria or piety.
- E. M. Forster

There is something majestic in the bad taste of Italy.
- E. M. Forster

Tolerance is a very dull virtue.
It is boring.
Unlike love, it has always had a bad press.
It is negative.
It merely means putting up with people,
being able to stand things.
- E. M. Forster

One marvels why the middle classes still insist on
so much discomfort for their children at such expense to themselves.
- E. M. Forster

Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.
- E. M. Forster

We are not concerned with the very poor.
They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by
the statistician or the poet.
- E. M. Forster

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend,
I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
- E. M. Forster

One of the evils of money is that it tempts us to look
at it rather than at the things that it buys.
- E. M. Forster

Only people who have been allowed to practise freedom
can have the grown-up look in their eyes.
- E. M. Forster

The work of art assumes the existence of the perfect spectator,
and is indifferent to the fact that no such person exists.
- E. M. Forster

The sort of poetry I seek resides in objects man can't touch.
- E. M. Forster

The king died and then the queen died is a story.
The king died, and then queen died of grief is a plot.
- E. M. Forster

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.
- E. M. Forster

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.
- E. M. Forster

I have no mystic faith in the people.
I have in the individual.
- E. M. Forster

The four characteristics of humanism are curiosity,
a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race.
- E. M. Forster

So, two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits
variety and two because it permits criticism.
- E. M. Forster

How can I know what I think till I see what I say?
- E. M. Forster

History develops, art stands still.
- E. M. Forster

Think before you speak is criticism's motto;
speak before you think,
creation's.
- E. M. Forster

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. Forster

Nonsense and beauty have close connections.
- E. M. Forster

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.
- E. M. Forster

One always tends to overpraise a long book,
because one has got through it.
- E. M. Forster

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise
that has ever penetrated into the ear of man.
- E. M. Forster

Only a struggle twists sentimentality and lust together into love.
- E. M. Forster

There lies at the back of every creed something terrible
and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.
- E. M. Forster

Most quarrels are inevitable at the time;
incredible afterwards.
- E. M. Forster

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is
not to make a mess of life.
- E. M. Forster

Ideas are fatal to caste.
- E. M. Forster

I am certainly an ought and not a must.
- E. M. Forster

The final test for a novel will be our affection for it,
as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot define.
- E. M. Forster

Charm, in most men and nearly all women,
is a decoration.
- E. M. Forster

We are all like Scheherazade's husband,
in that we want to know what happens next.
- E. M. Forster

The more highly public life is organized the lower does its morality sink.
- E. M. Forster

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.
- E. M. Forster

I never could get on with representative individuals
but people who existed on their own account and with
whom it might therefore be possible to be friends.
- E. M. Forster

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
- E. M. Forster

People have their own deaths as well as their own lives,
and even if there is nothing beyond death,
we shall differ in our nothingness.
- E. M. Forster

Surely the only sound foundation for a civilization
is a sound state of mind.
- E. M. Forster

What is the good of your stars and trees,
your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?
- E. M. Forster

The sadness of the incomplete, the sadness that is often Life,
but should never be Art.
- E. M. Forster

Reverence is fatal to literature.
- E. M. Forster

Logic!
Good gracious!
What rubbish!
- E. M. Forster

The English countryside, its growth and its destruction,
is a genuine and tragic theme.
- E. M. Forster

For our vanity is such that we hold our own characters immutable,
and we are slow to acknowledge that they have changed,
even for the better.
- E. M. Forster

Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.
- E. M. Forster


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May the world be kind to you,
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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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