e. m. forster, radio man


Behind most published writings lie hinterlands of notes, drafts, corrected proofs, forgotten prose pieces, diary entries and letters – relics and records of lives and works in progress, which often offer valuable leads to biographers exploring creative processes and scholars searching for figures in carpets. The Creator As Critic contains some 350 pages of previously uncollected Forster material (some hitherto unpublished), and 400 pages of editorial notes, attempting thereby to satisfy both scholar and general reader. The Forster pages are a mixture of lecture notes, essays, radio broadcasts, and memoirs (including a fine one of Cavafy), spanning most of his adult life, and encompassing literary interests from Dryden to Hemingway. The notes afford an illuminating subtext to this absorbing if heterogeneous assemblage.

The volume of BBC Talks includes a selection of Forster’s contributions as the Corporation’s chief book reviewer between 1930 and 1960. As a pioneer broadcaster and advocate of high culture, he was influential in the creation of the Third Programme (which expired just two months before his own death in 1970).

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