Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Howard's End

Posters for this novel should feel free to talk about any aspect of the ending of Forster's novel that strikes you. You may want to consider some of the questions raised in class, or you might want to examine the fate of a particular character and how that might relate to broader interests/objectives of the novel. You might want to take up some of the ideas in the quotes below (from Forster, Kermode, or Miller) and think about them in terms of HOWARD'S END. The only guideline for posters is to have a specific point you are illustrating and to use quotes and specific examples from the text. I strongly recommend that students check out the posts & comments in the Middlemarch Blog at www.middlemarchblog.blogspot.com. Posts for HOWARD'S END should be completed as soon as is possible, Sunday Feb. 5 at the latest.


Welcome to The Happy Ending Blog Project

As we discussed in class, the blog, like the postcolonial novel, is all about talking back. In this space, we are going to talk back to our novels as well as The Novel: specifically, the endings and the problem of "The Ending" for all novels. In many ways the ending is the most rigid of the Novel's rules. It is our job here to discuss what these novelists do to bend, even break, this particular rule of the traditional novelistic ending.

A few quotes from some unfamiliar and familiar writers might help you start thinking about these questions.

From Frank Kermode's THE SENSE OF AN ENDING(1966): "Naturally every such fiction will in some measure repeat others, but always with a difference, because of the changes in our reality."

From D. A. Miller's NARRATIVE AND ITS DISCONTENTS (1981): "My real argument, of course, is not that novels do not "build" toward closure, but that they are never fully or finally governed by it. The nineteenth-century novel seemed to be the best ground for such an argument, precisely because it is a text of abundant restrictions and regulations."

From E. M. Forster's ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL(1927): "It is tempting to conclude by speculations as to the future of the novel, will it become more or less realistic, will it be killed by the cinema, and so on....But we must visualize the novelists of the next two hundred years as also writing in the room. The change in their subject matter will be enormous; they will not change. We may harness the atom, we may land on the moon, we may abolish or intensify warfare, the mental processes of animals may be understood; but all these are trifles, they belong to history not to art. History develops, art stands still. The novelist of the future will have to pass all the new facts through the old if variable mechanism of the creative mind."

Good luck & happy blogging!

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