BBC Talks of E. M. Forster, 1929-1960: A Selected Edition

BBC Talks of E. M. Forster, 1929-1960: A Selected Edition

by Mary Lago
     
 

ISBN-10: 0826218008

ISBN-13: 9780826218001

Pub. Date: 05/30/2008

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

Spanning three decades and a host of subjects, E. M. Forster’s radio broadcasts for the BBC were a major contribution to British cultural history, yet today they are rarely acknowledged by scholars of his life and work. But in their day they reached a larger audience than his fiction and established him as a household figure not only in Britain but also in

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Overview

Spanning three decades and a host of subjects, E. M. Forster’s radio broadcasts for the BBC were a major contribution to British cultural history, yet today they are rarely acknowledged by scholars of his life and work. But in their day they reached a larger audience than his fiction and established him as a household figure not only in Britain but also in the farthest reaches of its Empire.

As a frequent contributor to the BBC, Forster generally adhered to literary topics but did not shy away from social commentary. This book offers a new appreciation of his vitality and public importance through seventy annotated broadcasts that present him not only as a literary critic but also as a political activist, an advocate for India, and a wary yet cooperative ally of a colonialist government during World War II.

Gathering material either not in print or, if recast as essays, widely scattered, The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster reveals aspects of Forster’s intellect that have been given short shrift in previous studies. Nearly half the scripts date from 1941 to 1945 and provide an eyewitness account of war from a distinguished perspective. Forster comments on how the arts gallantly survived the blitz—even taking his listeners to the theater as bombing threats loom—and in other cases protests government interference in private life or the limits on free expression caused by the wartime paper shortage.

In these scripts, Forster casts a cosmopolitan eye on contemporary literature from James Joyce to John Steinbeck and provides early exposure for young writers and composers. He also enlarges the scope of European art by pairing Jane Austen or C. S. Lewis with Indian writers and offers pointed comments on contemporary literati such as Aldous Huxley and T. S. Eliot. Annotations to each piece identify Forster’s references and trace his revisions from script to broadcast, while the book’s introduction places his emergence as a distinctive radio voice within the historical, creative, and institutional contexts of broadcasting in his day.

This significant body of writing, too long overlooked, traces Forster’s evolution from novelist to adroit cultural critic and shows how a man who was never comfortable with machines played an important role in shaping a new medium. The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster situates Forster as one of the most poignant voices of the twentieth century as it offers new insight into a nation transfigured by war.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826218001
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
05/30/2008
Edition description:
First Edition, Selected Edition
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   P. N. Furbank     ix
Preface: Editorial History of This Project     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
General Introduction     1
The Scripts
1929
15 February "The Great Frost"     51
1930
16 April "D. H. Lawrence"     55
1931
13 August "Books" (Coleridge, Cresswell, Heard)     62
1932
20 February "Conversation in the Train"     69
3 October "New Books" (Wordsworth, Outline of English Literature, Edith Sitwell anthology)     80
10 October "Book Talk" (Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson)     86
24 October "Book Talk" (Newbolt, Richards, Benson, Robins)     93
7 November "Books of the Week" (D. Scott, Anthony, Bone, Watson, Maxwell)     99
21 November "New Books" ("Side Dishes": Austen, Fitzgerald, Macaulay, Huxley)     105
5 December "New Books" ("Tales of Unrest": Chaliapin, Trotsky, Martin, Bennett)     111
19 December "New Books" (The Future of Broadcasting: Lytton Strachey and Younger Writers)     117
1934
10 March "Seven Days Hard" (On Liberty)     124
1937
24 September "Talks for Sixth Forms: Introductory"     129
1938
26 December "Bookshelf" (Books of 1938)     137
1941
4 July "Books and Reading: Books in 1941"     145
15October "Some Books" (Koestler, Symons)     150
10 December "Some Books: A Backward Glance over 1941"     155
1942
11 February "Some Books" (Paper Shortage and Huxley's Grey Eminence)     159
24 February "Masterpieces of English Literature" (Hardy)     164
4 March "Some Books" (Zweig)     172
1 April "Some Books" (Contemporary Poets)     177
29 April "Some Books" (Kipling, Edward Thompson, and Indian Writers)     184
27 May "Some Books" (Rebecca West)     189
24 June "Some Books" (American Writers)     194
14 August "My Debt to India"     198
19 August "Some Books" (Shakespeare Plays in London)     202
11 November "New Books" (Indian Books and Dancing)     207
9 December "Some Books" (Narayana Menon, Yeats, Eliot)     212
1943
6 January "Some Books: New Year's Greeting" (National Gallery Wartime Concerts)     217
3 February "Some Books" (C. S. Lewis, Heard, Mulk Raj Anand)     222
20 June "Some Books" (Stage Productions in London)     227
18 July "Some Books" (The Indian Question)     232
12 September "Some Books" (Tagore, Edward Thompson, Indian Books)     238
3 October "Modern Men of Letters: Lytton Strachey"     243
10 October "Some Books" (Books on Japan)      248
4 November "Some Books" (Mark Twain)     253
2 December "Some Books" (Books on India)     258
1944
6 January "Unwillingly to School: Matthew Arnold"     263
27 January "Some Books" (Koestler, Plomer)     278
24 February "Some Books" (H. Levin's James Joyce)     283
23 March "Some Books" ("Is the Novel Dead?")     288
11 April "Some Books" (Jane Austen and Indian Books)     293
9 May "Some Books" (The Lake District and Wordsworth)     300
24 October "Some Books" (National Gallery Concerts, Tolstoy, Shaw)     305
21 November "Some Books" (Shakespeare in London)     310
15 December "English Prose: The Short Story" (West, Plomer)     315
19 December "Some Books" (Bhagavad-Gita and Books on India)     320
1945
13 February "Some Books" (Books on World War II)     325
10 April "Some Books" (Henry V, Huxley, Auden)     330
9 May "Some Books" (Osbert Sitwell, Indian Music)     335
20 June "The Development of Criticism: Matthew Arnold"     341
3 July "Some Books" (Peter Grimes)     346
31 July "Some Books" (Valery, Maillaud, Mann)     351
1946
3 July "Some Books" (Bengali Books)     357
31 July "Some Books" (Shaw, P.E.N., Britten)      363
28 August "Some Books" (H. G. Wells, Forrest Reid, Osbert Sitwell)     368
20 November "Some Books" (Spender, Warner, Acton)     374
1947
15 January "Some Books" (Russell's History of Western Philosophy)     379
12 February "Some Books" (Billy Budd)     384
12 March "Some Books" (Writers and Democracy)     389
15 August "Message to India" (At Partition)     394
1948
13 April "It's Good English" (Biography of George Crabbe)     396
1949
11 January "I Speak for Myself"     401
1951
16 June "Saturday Review" (The Fourth Aldeburgh Festival)     406
29 September "Fifth Anniversary of the Third Programme"     410
1952
8 June "Samuel Butler" (Third Programme)     420
1953
6 September "The Pelican History of Art-The Art and Architecture of India" (Third Programme)     428
1955
14 February "The Mint by T. E. Lawrence" (Third Programme)     436
1956
5 October "Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson" (Third Programme)     445
1958
28 December "Recollections of Nassenheide" (Third Programme)     456
Index     465

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