E.M. Forster Archive
E.M. Forster’s novel is deeply concerned with compactly contained relationships, as well as the ideas and spaces that forge these connections. Zadie Smith’s modern-day retelling explores similarly contained personal relationships with a significant update: the book is set on a college campus.
Lore Segal’s “At Whom the Dog Barks” is not so much concerned with cause and effect as it’s concerned with coincidence and pattern. Or perhaps coincidence is the name for cause and effect outside the realm of human perception.
In a space like this, when we talk about genre fiction, we are often talking about its limitations: its conventions, its shallowness, its easy accessibility, its (overly) familiar repetitions, its elastic distance behind the invisible but razor-wired line of the literary.
In the age of Donald Trump, of Brexit, of a refugee crisis that is a key force governing international decisions -- nations, demarcations of identity, loyalty, apparent belonging are the lifeblood of political discourse. And I despise it. I want to reject it on a visceral level.