Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

E. M. Forster, fully Edward Morgan Forster

English Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Essayist, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

"Death destroys a man: the idea of Death saves him."

"Everything exists, nothing has value."

"One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life."

"How can I tell what I think till I see what I say."

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."

"It is pleasant to be transferred from an office where one is afraid of a sergeant-major into an office where one can intimidate generals, and perhaps this is why History is so attractive to the more timid among us. We can recover self-confidence by snubbing the dead."

"Our life on earth is, and ought to be, material and carnal. But we have not yet learned to manage our materialism and carnality properly; they are still entangled with the desire for ownership."

"The hungry and the homeless don't care about liberty any more than they care about cultural heritage. To pretend that they do care is cant."

"What is so wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote, and brings to birth in us also the creative impulse."

"One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. "

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to live the life that is waiting for us. "