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Begun 1913Finished 1914Dedicated to a Happier Year Edward Morgan Forster 1879 1970 wrote Maurice as a relatively young man, aged 34, at a time when old Europe was starting to fall apart However, it was not published until 1971, a year after his death Maurice is probably the first literary work of fiction to deal with male homosexuality in such an open, sincere fashion At the time it was written, men in the UK could still be imprisoned for acts of gross indecency , as in the Oscar Wild Begun 1913Finished 1914Dedicated to a Happier Year Edward Morgan Forster 1879 1970 wrote Maurice as a relatively young man, aged 34, at a time when old Europe was starting to fall apart However, it was not published until 1971, a year after his death Maurice is probably the first literary work of fiction to deal with male homosexuality in such an open, sincere fashion At the time it was written, men in the UK could still be imprisoned for acts of gross indecency , as in the Oscar Wilde trial Publishing this book at that time would have destroyed the deeply admired English novelist Of course, E M Forster s readers had no idea that the author of very successful novels such as Howards End and A Passage to India loved men Nevertheless, he let his work be reviewed by his literary friends who knew of his sexuality He was loosely connected with the Bloomsbury Group , the literary and artistic circle with such prominent members as Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and Lytton Strachey For the time, the members of the Bloomsbury Group had a very open and unconventional approach to sexuality, and among this group E M Forster s novel could be discussed openly In public, however, he successfully covered up his sexuality, and I wonder if this might be one of the reasons why I found Forster s Howards End rather frigid and detached I second Katherine Mansfield when she complains about Howards End E.M Forster never gets any farther than warming the teapot He s a rare fine hand at that Feel this teapot Is it not beautifully warm Yes, but there ain t going to be no teaIntroduction p xxiv.Well, in Maurice, E M Forster pours hot boiling water over spicy tea leaves Forster intriguingly describes Maurice Hall s journey of self discovery and his sexual awakening Maurice comes from a conventional middle class background with a lukewarm mentality He is very much an average guy even though Forster describes him as rather good looking and athletic not very intellectual, and a bit arrogant His being sexually different initially comes across as a hindrance to his plans to follow in his deceased father s footsteps Maurice was stepping into the niche that England had prepared for him p.45 Nevertheless, early in the novel Forster gives hints that Maurice has always known he is different Maurice remarks early on I think I shall not marry , and he is rather baffled when he realises that he is overwhelmed by the fact that his mother s garden boy George with whom he used to play in the woodstack when he was a boy gave notice and left Maurice is, after all, a snob and he would never consider himself a friend of George Nevertheless, George s departure unsettles him and he does not really know why he has these special feelings Feelings of this kind become clearer when he moves to Cambridge for his studies and meets Clive Durham, with whom he fells in love Clive s pedigree issophisticated he descends from landed gentry Clive is deeply torn about his sexuality, even though he makes the first step in admitting his feelings for Maurice Foster does not shy away from describing romantic moments between the two and he shows perfectly his skills in evoking beautyI knew you read the Symposium in the vac, he said in a low voice.Maurice felt uneasy Then you understand without me sayingHow do you mean Durham could not wait People were all around them, but with eyes that had gone intensely blue he whispered, I love youp 48 Clive considers himself a Hellenist and he celebrates the love that Socrates bore Phaedo love passionate but temperate p.85 They both set out on a philosophical journey of self discovery about their sexuality and their place in society Forster tries to be as open as possible in his depiction of them We learn that both, especially Clive, have misogynistic tendencies Alas, it is Forster himself who does not give the reader the opportunity to appreciate a fully rounded female character in his book This brings me to Forster s theory of flat and round characters In E.M Forster s Aspects of the Novel, he explains The test of a round character is whether it is capable of surprising in a convincing way p.81 Maurice in particular passes his creator s test with flying colours Even though he might be snobbish, arrogant and misogynistic at the beginning of the narrative, the reader cannot ignore how he develops into atolerant and self aware person, capable of tender feelings What made this reader root for Maurice was his sincerity towards himself and thus his integrity Despite all his inner struggles, he allows himself to be who he is this makes him such an attractive character, not only to the reader but also to others characters in the book Of course, only we as readers know his innermost thoughts and feelings Forster offers us a deep insight into these thoughts, where we can learn how sincere and full of integrity Maurice becomes He would not deceive himself so much He would not and this was the test pretend to care about women when the only sex that attracted him was his own He loved men and always had loved them He longed to embrace them and mingle his being with theirs Now that the man who returned his love had been lost, he admitted this p 51 Indeed, he loses his first love to conformity Clive decides to adapt to his family s requirements and beautiful conventions and grows slowly away from Maurice Ironically, it is on Clive s journey to Greece that he lets Maurice know by letter that I have become normal, I cannot help it p.101 Not long after, he marries and settles in at Penge his late father s estate as the squire everybody expected him to become Forster gives us only a few glimpses into Clive s inner thoughts and monologues, but they are enough to make the reader understand that Clive lives in denial and self deception One cannot write those words too often Maurice s loneliness it increased p.124 In the meantime, Maurice goes through hell He begins to doubt his own sexuality and increasingly feels lonely Forster s description of Maurice s journey of self loathing and loneliness gets directly under the reader s skin These are powerful passages which help enormously in empathising not only with Maurice, but with thousands of other men in real life who have had to go through a similar hellYet he was doing a fine thing proving on how little the soul can exist Fed neither by Heaven nor by Earth he was going forward, a lamp that would have blown out, were materialism true He hadn t a God, he hadn t a lover the two usual incentives to virtuep.126 He eventually seeks advice from a doctor he has befriended, confessing that he is an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort I don t want to spoil the doctor s answer, but I can assure you that it did not help Maurice s self esteem at all It is on the peak of his crisis that he meets the third important character in the book Alec Scudder, the gamekeeper at Penge, Clive s estate Forster likes to let different characters from different social classes bump into each other, as his novel Howards End shows brilliantly Alec Scudder, the gamekeeper, who everybody in Maurice s circle simply calls Scudder , belongs to the class of outdoors men He is a man of nature with natural instincts The reader cannot really unravel his inner thoughts Forster leaves us almost in the dark This is certainly deliberate Scudder remains the active, pushy, slightly aggressive and sexually attractive, almost mysterious country lad for the reader Today he would probably be categorised as bisexual He instinctively feels Maurice s pain and reacts accordingly to his nature With Alec Scudder, Maurice eventually reaches sexual fulfilment They must live outside class, without relations or money they must work and stick to each other till death But England belonged to them That, besides companionship, was their reward p.212 Alec Scudder, who in the book represents carnality, the rural and nature in comparison to Clive, who stands for the intellectual and platonic love will eventually be the key to Maurice s liberation Together with Maurice, the reader discovers, after several bumps in the road, the route to Maurice and Alec s happiness This happy ending to Forster s novel has much been discussed I was not entirely convinced, even though it has its roots in real life namely in the concept of Uranian love and the relationship between Edward Carpenter and George Merrill, who Forster visited in 1913 and who were an inspiration for this book I am not sure if it is really a happy ending for Maurice and Alec, but I think it was the best possible end to the book, given the socio political situation at the time Forster writes in his Terminal Note A happy ending was imperative I shouldn t have bothered to write otherwise p.220 I, for my part, tend to agree with Forster s Bloomsbury friend Lytton Strachey, who wrote in a letter to E.M Forster that the relationship of the two rested upon curiosity and lust and would only last six weeks Terminal Note, p 222 I can sympathise with Strachey s train of thought Maurice and Alec are first and foremost attracted sexually to each other and only later recognise that what unites them is the need to fight a common enemy Introduction, p xxii.Despite these minor flaws, Maurice is still an important novel E M Forster wrote it in 1913 14 and revised it in 1960 In his Terminal Note, written in 1960, he recognises a change in the public attitude towards homosexuality the change from ignorance and terror to familiarity and contempt Terminal Note, p 224 Still, it took another seven years until the laws criminalizing acts of gross indecency by men were abolished in England Today, the legal situation in Europe has improved significantly one could only have dreamed of it fifty years ago This is of course a very positive development In the meantime, we should be aware that there are still nations where LGBT people are persecuted, incarcerated and even put to death for their sexuality The human race still has a long way to go Let me thus go a step further and suggest that it is not enough to implement legally protected equality, even though this must be an unalienable right We as a society ask our governments for rights which guarantee equality But, I ask myself, does society really embrace and integrate diversity in everyday life Forster writes pointedly We had not realized that what the public really loathes in homosexuality is not the thing itself but having to think about it Terminal Note p 224 I can only speak for my part of the world and my generation, but I feel part of a monolithic world where sexual diversity has not yet reached unconscious acceptance and self evident equality, and where definitions such as gay and homo are still used unconsciously as an insult Just look at the advertising industry, mainstream TV or cinema one rarely finds rainbow families or same sex couples And of course the male action hero is supposed to be heterosexual While there has been constant change for the better during the past few years, it is still slow and I am afraid we still have a long wait before there is a gay James Bond and nobody thinks anything of it Until then, books like Maurice have lost none of their relevance I highly recommend the Penguin Classics Edition with an introduction and notes by David Leavitt Uranians The term has its origins in Plato s Symposium, in which Pausanius argues that men who are inspired by Heavenly Aphrodite Aphrodite Urania as opposed to Common Aphrodite Aphrodite Pandeumia are attracted to the male sex their intention is to form a lasting attachment and partnership for life In the 1860s and 1870s, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs promulgated the German Urning, the English version of which was subsequently put into circulation by Edward Carpenter and the art historian John Addington Symonds Notes by David Leavitt, p 232 Possibly my new favourite book of the year so far I absolutely loved this one beautiful, moving, such a powerful read. The second dream isdifficult to convey Nothing happened He scarcely saw a face, scarcely heard a voice say, That is your friend, and then it was over, having filled him with beauty and taught him tenderness He could die for such a friend, he would allow such a friend to die for him they would make any sacrifice for each other, and count the world nothing, neither death nor distance nor crossness could part them, because this is my friendMaurice follows the story of Maurice, a The second dream isdifficult to convey Nothing happened He scarcely saw a face, scarcely heard a voice say, That is your friend, and then it was over, having filled him with beauty and taught him tenderness He could die for such a friend, he would allow such a friend to die for him they would make any sacrifice for each other, and count the world nothing, neither death nor distance nor crossness could part them, because this is my friendMaurice follows the story of Maurice, a gay man in the early 1900s, as he falls in love, gets his heart broken, and gets his heart repaired This book hit me really hard The idea of class conflict is at the forefront There are two love stories here, one between Maurice and his school partner, and one between him and a garden worker In one of these, his class colleague asks for their relationship to never go beyond kissing he is always at arms length, until he is discarded altogether In one of these, he is free to love as he is, freed from the bounds of false intellectualism and performance It s not clear from the summary how sectioned this book is, but it is decidedly split the first half deals with Clive and the eventual breakdown of that relationship, while the second half deals with Maurice s attempts to cure himself and then eventually, with Alec I found the first half of this novel interesting The second half made me cry of happiness It s infused with so muchhope The final scene focuses point of view on Clive, framed in the light, while Maurice is a voice in the dark that, though, is his happy ending Maurice ends the novel in love in the dark, while Clive ends the novel thinking that his lack of love in the light is superior It is we, as the audience, who must make our own decisions on that matter I enjoyed the movie, which I saw before reading the book, a lot Though it s easy to quibble with certain changes made from the book to the movie, there s one bit I particularly like the final shot, in which Clive looks out at the greens, wondering what he could have had, had he not been afraid There s something profound about giving a happy ending to two men falling in love in a time where they were few and far between In the outro, E.M Forster says thisA happy ending was imperative I shouldn t have bothered to write otherwise I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwoodWhen this book was written, in 1913 and 1914, this seemed almost ridiculous, that two men could fall in love, and not marry, and be happy Forster wrote this novel almost to challenge that idea This book could not even published until after his death, in 1971, and was then incredibly controversial This book made me feel like I believe in love again Also, and this is only a minor spoiler, but I think about this scene a lotYou do care a little for me, I know but nothing to speak of, and you don t love me I was yours once till death if you d cared to keep me, but I m someone else s now and he s mine in a way that shocks you, but why don t you stop being shocked, and attend to your own happinessview spoiler to my ex i fucked your gamekeeper in your house and in a hotel and in your boathouse bye lmao see you never Maurice at the end of this book hide spoiler TW conversion attempts suicidal ideation view spoiler what if it was 1910 and i crawled through your window and gave you a kiss and then you realized you were in love with me after giving my last name to your schoolteacher and we were both boys hide spoiler Blog Twitter Instagram Spotify Youtube About I took the damned Spoiler Alert alert out I think it keeps people from reading the actual review That said, some of the following comments might be considered Spoiler, but I prefer to think of these comments as what Forster could have done better, should have done better, and any image of Hugh Grant spread eagled on a table deserves to be noticed, IMHO.At first, I thought rereading Forster s gay novel for a group discussion would be fun I liked it first time around and expected to like it a I took the damned Spoiler Alert alert out I think it keeps people from reading the actual review That said, some of the following comments might be considered Spoiler, but I prefer to think of these comments as what Forster could have done better, should have done better, and any image of Hugh Grant spread eagled on a table deserves to be noticed, IMHO.At first, I thought rereading Forster s gay novel for a group discussion would be fun I liked it first time around and expected to like it as much this time Perhaps it was having watched the film since the first reading Maybe I couldn t prevent myself from picturing Hugh Grant in the role of Clive Durham and a young Rupert Graves in the role of Scudder whatever the reasons, rereading this novel, knowing where it was headed, made me impatient, made me angry, made me want to see the younger Hugh Grant shoved face down over a table, depantsed, and deflowered in the most aggressive way But, that s just me.Forster s novel remained a featherbed of cozy, enveloping language The early scene in which Mr Ducie, a senior at Maurice s preparatory school and a man who felt the obligation to instruct Maurice in the mystery of sex complete with a diagram drawn in the sand on a beach, then abandoned, and too late realized, left to be discovered by other casual strollers of both sexes Oh my was still funny The developing relationship between Maurice and fellow Cambridge student Clive Durham was still touching in its intimacy and affection but then, but then, but then That relationship stalls at intimacy Maurice is coaxed by Clive, led on if you will , only to reach a wall a wall of this far and no further After outing himself, Clive seemingly has no out to arrive at His bold confession to Maurice is overstated, leaving Maurice confused and wantingWhile this novel is certainly a matter of time and place, the Platonic relationship just doesn t ring true for a contemporary understanding The British stereotype the conservative, asexual, slightly effeminate my apologies, good Brits, but we are talking stereotypes, not realities registers as alien in modern readers of anything other than Christian fiction.And it was this alienation from the characters that left me thinking, Jesus Christ, Maurice, hammer him nail his ass show the lame fucker what he s wanting but is too caught up in an ideal to grab But, of course, that won t do We all know what rape is there s never good reason for it to occur even in fiction Poetic justice and poetic injustice are opposite sides of the same coin They re really two ways of saying the same thing.The poetic justice, if such a thing exists, is Clive s ultimate settling for passionless marriage while Maurice moves onpower to him.I don t regret rereading Maurice It s still fine story telling and plotting A reader has to understand that Forster, writing when he did, could only imagine, only hope for, a better time when people were able to be who they are, without fear of social or legal repercussion I think I ve been spoiled three decades and still going with my own partner makes me bothgenerous andselfish It makes me wish others had, or could have, what I have just not MINE I think you re beautiful, the only beautiful person I ve ever seen I love your voice and everything to do with you, down to your clothes or the room you are sitting in I adore you this book sent me all the way through it and I was genuinely moved by the tenderness the yearning the way e.m forster wrote a happy ending for two men because he thought it was time gay men got to be happy in fiction the explorations of class and freedom and longing Maurice s journey to self discoverI think you re beautiful, the only beautiful person I ve ever seen I love your voice and everything to do with you, down to your clothes or the room you are sitting in I adore you this book sent me all the way through it and I was genuinely moved by the tenderness the yearning the way e.m forster wrote a happy ending for two men because he thought it was time gay men got to be happy in fiction the explorations of class and freedom and longing Maurice s journey to self discovery and coming of age the way that clive his first love is depicted and the closure he gets from him the fact the end of this book is literally I fucked your gamekeeper in your bedroom and then in a hotel and now I realise I don t care for you at all gotta bounce also e.m forster has such beautiful and emotional writingA happy ending was imperative I shouldn t have bothered to write otherwise I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood I adore this book and e.m forster listen that might be just my opinion but if a lgbt book from 1913 has a happy ending there is absolutely no excuse for gays dying in books in 2019 |EBOOK ♒ Maurice ☳ Maurice is heartbroken over unrequited love, which opened his heart and mind to his own sexual identity In order to be true to himself, he goes against the grain of society s often unspoken rules of class, wealth, and politicsForster understood that his homage to same sex love, if published when he completed it in , would probably end his career Thus, Maurice languished in a drawer for fifty seven years, the author requesting it be published only after his death along with his stories about homosexuality later collected in The Life to ComeSince its release in , Maurice has been widely read and praised It has been, and continues to be, adapted for major stage productions, including theOscar nominated film adaptation starring Hugh Grant and James Wilby what if we kissed in your ex lover s boathouse.and we were both boys haha just kidding..unless.. Perfect There is probably nothing I can write that hasn t been written before about this work from one of our great English authors It has no doubt been criticised, scrutinised, analysed, investigated, praised and acclaimed, I will just write about how the book made me feel The style of English was so refreshing to read A style and mastery that has been long since forgotten It has a beauty to it that flows and melts coming from an era where conversation really was an art Where every word w Perfect There is probably nothing I can write that hasn t been written before about this work from one of our great English authors It has no doubt been criticised, scrutinised, analysed, investigated, praised and acclaimed, I will just write about how the book made me feel The style of English was so refreshing to read A style and mastery that has been long since forgotten It has a beauty to it that flows and melts coming from an era where conversation really was an art Where every word was carefully picked and every sentence construction built to hold, last and sit precisely A rare treat Forster manages to describe the emotions of gay love by eluding to it but never the vulgar I ask myself what would he think about our modern romances and language if he could read them today The book itself was like having my own personal time portal, swept back to a time, though noble also ignorant A look into, class, social etiquette, traditions, and values of an era gone by Into this was born Maurice and his fight for happiness begins He goes through a personal hell and back, jilted by Clive who turns to women, here I reckon Clive was probably what we know to be bi today and was easier for him to bow to the pressures of society although quite possibly a sexless marriage to Anne Maurice finds his absolution and love in the arms of Scudder the game keeper An unlikely combination but Scudder s naive acceptance of his homosexuality is refreshing in it s nature A character that creeps out of the background and has aprofound effect on Maurice than originally anticipated Maurice goes through an emotional hell and back, looking at his sexual orientation as an abomination, a disease that has no cure, though treatments are sought the internal struggle remains until it nearly drives him to suicidal feelings This would be all quite normal for this day and age and attitudes from society, you would have no other choice but to stay firmly in the closet and remain there An extremely lonely feeling This book was far ahead of its time, therefore the publication after the death of the author in 1971, when society was ready to embrace its message All I can say for anyone who wishes to read a classic from a master then READ THIS BOOK It was a pioneering work of its day and anyone who takes their m m romance literature seriously should read it as a shining example of how we ve got to where we are today If Dorian Gray is the dramatic, scandal creating gay classic, than Maurice is the snobbish yet emotionally moving gay classic Written in 1913 14 but only published sixty years later, this is a book that is impressive not because of its romance but because of the character s personal journey towards self acceptance.Began 1913, finished 1914 Dedicated to a happier year With this heartbreaking opening statement, the story begins We get to follow Maurice Hall as he grows up and starts to If Dorian Gray is the dramatic, scandal creating gay classic, than Maurice is the snobbish yet emotionally moving gay classic Written in 1913 14 but only published sixty years later, this is a book that is impressive not because of its romance but because of the character s personal journey towards self acceptance.Began 1913, finished 1914 Dedicated to a happier year With this heartbreaking opening statement, the story begins We get to follow Maurice Hall as he grows up and starts to realize that he s attracted to men This is not an easy realization this story takes place, and was published, in England at the beginning of the 20th century A time in which gay men and women are nonsense or get send to asylums, thank god So this book is already unique for being so open and honest about Maurice s homosexual relationships Despite knowing society s views, Maurice is certain of his love for his fellow student Clive Durham, a young man fan of the Classics like the story of Achilles Patroclus And while Clive and Maurice are a far cry from those Greek heroes the English men are snobbish and have misogynistic tendencies their love is treated with emotion and tenderness surprising for its timeHe educated Maurice, or rather his spirit educated Maurice s spirit, for they themselves became equal Neither thought Am I led am I leading Love had caught him out of triviality and Maurice out of bewilderment in order that two imperfect souls might touch perfection Yet it is exactly this romance between Maurice and Clive and Maurice and his future partner that didn t convince me The love between the first couple felt too intellectual and stiff befitting for their characters but it made me unable to root for them With the second couple, love became too serious too quickly their love waslust instead of true I had some similar problems with the romance in A Room with a View I felt for the characters, just not for their not existing chemistry But who cares about romance when the author is able to make you feel for a snobbish gay prat Maurice s struggle and ultimately acceptance of his own sexuality is very moving and remarkable because as mentioned in the author s final words it made this book harder to publish If it ended unhappily, with a lad dangling from a noose or with a suicide pact, all would be well page 220 It s this bleak and grim reality which echoes a bit in today s society that proves all thewhy people should read Maurice Like my friend Lydia said in her review it makes me wonder what other books were written throughout history and never published, because they had a theme of same sex love