Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More from Forster, Betty's Latest Flame

He is absurdly young - not twenty-one - and he will be engaged to be married at twenty-three. He has no knowledge of the world; for example, he thinks that if you do not want money you can give it to friends who do. He believes in humanity because he knows a dozen decent people. He believes in women because he has loved his mother. And his friends are as young and as ignorant as himself. They are full of the wine of life. But they have not tasted the cup - let us call it the teacup - of experience...Oh, that teacup! To be taken at prayers, at friendship, at love, till we are quite sane, quite efficient, quite experienced, and quite useless to God or man. We must drink it, or we shall die. But we need not drink it always. Here is our problem and our salvation. There comes a moment - God knows when - at which we can say, "I will experience no long. I will create. I will be an experience." But to do this we must be both acute and heroic. For it is not easy, after accepting six cups of tea, to throw the seventh in the face of the hostess. And to Rickie this moment has not, as yet, been offered.

- from The Longest Journey, Chapter 7


Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

How much Forster are you reading? I've only read Howard's End but loved it. What's your next recommendation?

betty said...

OK, so Howard's End is the best book ever. It got me totally obsessed with Forster. I'm just reading whatever I can get my hands on. Finishing The Longest Journey Now and then will move on to A Passage to India and A Room with a View. I will keep you posted!

What I suggest you read while you wait for me to finish these (haha) is Forster's essays. He is a brilliant and highly readable essayist - "What I Believe" is a good place to go first.