About the BookDifficult Rhythm examines E. M. Forster's irrepressible interest in music, providing plentiful examples of how the eminent British author's fiction resonates with music. Musicologist Michelle Fillion analyzes his critical writings and novels, including A Room with a View, which alludes to Beethoven, Wagner, and Schumann, and Howards End, which explicitly alerts readers to how fiction can adopt musical forms and ideas. This volume also includes, for the first time in print, Forster's notes on Beethoven's piano sonatas. Documenting his knowledge of music, his musical favorites and friends, and his attitudes toward various composers, performances, and competing musical theories, this engaging book traces the musical influences of luminaries such as Wagner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Britten on Forster's life and work.
Reviews"Briskly written and highly readable."--Times Literary Supplement
"Astute and well informed. . . . Fillion's extremely fine study is surely one that scholars will draw on with admiration and pleasure."--Review of English Studies
"A very comprehensive and perceptive assessment of the role of music in E. M. Forster’s life and work."--Music and Letters
"A significant reassessment of one of the twentieth century's finest writers. By paying nuanced attention to the comprehensive role of music in Forster's novels and aesthetics, Fillion finds a new keynote to Forster's literary art. To read his novels without this perspective in play is to miss much."--Scott G. Burnham, author of Beethoven Hero
"Difficult Rhythm is a tasty read, indeed. Fillion impressively and gracefully shows how Forster's engagement and fascination with music in his works articulates his evolving social, political, and ideological concerns."--Todd Avery, author of Radio Modernism: Literature, Ethics, and the BBC, 1922–1938