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Happy Birthday, E.M. Forster!

One of the things I'd like to do on my blog this year is celebrate the birthdays of my favorite authors of the past.

To that end, happy birthday to E.M. Forster (1 January, 1879 – 7 June, 1970)!

yellow is happiness

“He broke off, and she fancied that he looked sad. She could not be sure, for the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression. It only gave a general idea of people -- an idea that was good enough for all practical purposes, Vashti thought. The imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy to be the actual essence of intercourse, was rightly ignored by the Machine, just as the imponderable bloom of the grape was ignored by the manufacturers of artificial fruit. Something 'good enough' had long since been accepted by our race.”
― E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops (1909)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
Nothing to do with this post, but a Happy New Year to you three!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! And to you and yours!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 03:42 am (UTC)
I've never read the story you excerpted, and I didn't even know E.M. Forster wrote sci fi! But I had an E.M. Forster-themed summer last year--read Maurice, A Room With a View and about half of Howards End before having to return to school/work. Really really love him. Thanks for posting!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! Thanks for your kind comments! I use "The Machine Stops" in a couple of my courses. It's a wonderfully relevant and timely story (and one of the chief inspirations for the film Wall-E). The novels you listed are fantastic, too - and so are their movie adaptations, as well! So much beauty and insight from one author.
Jan. 2nd, 2014 04:30 am (UTC)
An excellent goal! I remember that story -- it was really good and very prescient.
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
An excellent goal!

Oh, I'm so tickled you think so! Thank you for this.

It really is a remarkably insightful story, very relevant to our times. It's amazing to realize it was first published over a century ago.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )