Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests

Monday, August 22, 2016

"The Other Kingdom" - A Short Story by E. M. Forster (1911, included in The Celestial Omnibus and other stories)

"For life is practically a battle. To all intents and purposes a battle. Except for a few lucky fellows who can read books, and so avoid the realities." From "The Other Kingdom" 

Author of Passage to India, Howard's End, Aspects of the Novel and numerous other works

I recently reread one of my favorite short stories, "The Celestial Omnibus".  I think it contains deep wisdom about the rewards and pains of a reading life and I hope to keep periodically returning to it until I feel I am ready to take my own celestial omnibus, return tickets are available but not required.  

There are lots of blog posts about Forster's novels, I have posted on several of them, but few seem to read his short stories.  Of course this is in part due to the sad fact that few read short stories and fewer read 150 year old ones.

I decided to read "The Other Kingdom" today because it comes right after "A Celestial Omnibus" in the collection. I started it then and decided to come back to it.  As "The Other Kingdom" opens the young Irish bride of an upperclass Englishman is receiving  tutoring in Latin.  Her husband wants to educate her.  I was pondering the meaning of the title, I did a Google search, perhaps it has a meaning in classical Roman literature I do no get or maybe it refers to Ireland.  The woman is esthetic when her husband gives her a wood of her very own.  The story takes a treacherous turn and I will not spoil it.  I think what I liked best about the story were the conversations about the value of studying the classics.

I will be, I hope, reading more of his short stories.

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I'm one of those Forster readers who haven't read his short fiction. Thanks for reminding me that there's more to read of his work, beyond the novels.