Is Maurice a Hopelessly Flawed Text?

3912 WordsOct 22, 200816 Pages
Is “Maurice” a hopelessly flawed text, or a thoughtful adaptation of the novel form to the subject matter and a strong intervention in debates of the time? E.M Forster dedicated his novel “Maurice” to a “happier year”, affirming his intention of the novel’s purpose as an insight into the future evolution of sexual desire and relationships, leading some to attach significance to the text as a protagonist of controversial debate of the time . Forster delayed publication of Maurice for 57 years waiting for a time where wider concepts of desire could be explored without recrimination . Indeed, it has been argued that the novel was self-prophetic in predicting experiences Forster had not had himself, who later described his own sex life…show more content…
This therefore begs the question as to why Forster would want to deny identity. One view is that Forster’s compromise between identity and conventional narrative was perhaps necessary for the time as Forster would have known that “what first made a homosexual identity out of incoherent homosexual acts was a force both hostile and repressive .” On this basis, the denial of identity was necessary for Maurice to succeed in creating empathy for the portrayal of love within a homosexual framework as opposed to the focus on homosexual acts, which had defined identity . As such, it has been argued that only “time could fight that force insofar as a reversal of the transformation of acts into identity would disperse identity out of temporal linearity ”. However the difficulty with this perspective is that it intrinsically leans towards a flawed narrative within the novel format and if “Maurice aims at such a temporal dispersal, can it express its aim in plot, which by definition orders events in much the way identity orders acts? ” It is argued that contemporary portrayals of temporality centre on “moments, map mystical states of being, and seek to

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