AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster, 1929-1960: A Selected Edition. Mary Lago, Linda K. Hughes, Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, eds. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. xiv + 477 pp. $59.95
IT IS THE END of 1932 and Forster is at the BBC microphone wondering about this new medium, broadcasting, "the biggest technical innovation affecting words since the invention of printing." Will it and cinema, too, supplant books? He hopes not and it's books he will be talking about (and in the event continue talking about for several decades). The microphone and the screen "leave behind a blur, whereas a book can sink into the mind and strengthen it." His manner is modest. The writers he recommends to his audience are "doing things I'd like to have done. They seem to get at poetry so easily, they use realism without getting tied up in it ... and they are not stupidly hopeful." So he chats about Strachey, John Collier, Rosamund Lehmann, Christopher Isherwood, ending with Karel Capek, noting that "in most of the books that touch my heart, I feel again and again the importance of man, the sanctity of the individual, the deceitfulness of riches." That credo and that generous curiosity inform all the talks collected here.
The project of bringing these broadcasts together was initially undertaken by Mary Lago who started working on the broadcasts in the 1980s after her collaboration with P. N. Furbank on the Selected Letters. She then published two important discussions of …