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To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art;
by E. M. Forster

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

How can I know what I think till I see what I say?
- 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

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

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

One is certain of nothing but the truth of one's own emotions.
- 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

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

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

Death destroys a man, but the idea of death saves him.
- E. M. Forster

Love and understand the Italians, for the people are
more marvellous than the land.
- E. M. Forster

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

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

I'm a holy man minus the holiness.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those who prepared for all the emergencies of life
beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.
- E. M. Forster

It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness.
- 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

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

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

History develops, art stands still.
- 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

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

At night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers,
my books attain a collective dignity.
- 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

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

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

No man can be an agnostic who has a sense of humour.
- E. M. Forster

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

It is my fate and perhaps my temperament to sign agreements with fools.
- E. M. Forster

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

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

Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good:
they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.
- E. M. Forster

No one is India.
- 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

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

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

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

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

There is much good luck in the world,
but it is luck.
We are none of us safe.
We are children, playing or quarrelling on the line.
- E. M. Forster

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

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


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