Aspects of the Novel Background

Aspects of the Novel Background

Aspects of the Novel is a literary work based on a series of lectures delivered by E. M. Forester at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1927. It is a well structured book which redefines the formula of a successful novel. He discusses seven vital elements of a novel: story, people (characters), plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern and rhythm. In order to make his stand clear, he uses excerpts from classics and his work emanates a new sensibility in his readers.

According to Forester, a novel is any fictitious prose work over 50,000 words. The author states in the introductory chapter that his work will not consider discussions about the chronology or even the development of the novel. He builds on his arguments citing examples and allows the reader dismiss the technique of analyzing a novel as a product of history.

"History develops, Art stands still"

He also opines that it is necessary to have a plot and a story which urges us to "know what happens next". He stresses the importance of "flat" and "round" characters in a successful novel. Fantasy and prophecy are considered to be the central aspects which provide universal and spiritual tone to the novel. The structure of a narrative maintaining the integrity of character is also one of the essentials.

Edward Morgan Forster (January 1, 1879 - June 7, 1970) was an English novelist, short story writer and essayist. He was born in London as an only child to Alice Clara and a Welsh architect Edward Morgan Llewellyn Forster. Since he spent much time alone, it can be conjectured that it inspired him to come up with novel ideas in the field of literature. As a novelist, he had five of his works published in his lifetime. His first novel is Where Angels fear to Tread (1905). Since he is a novelist, Aspects of the Novel is a genuine attempt to define standards of a novel and remains as a text providing insight to upcoming writers.

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