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Title: From Hellenism to Orientalism : friendship in E. M. Forster, with reference to Forrest Reid
Author: Bilal , Maaz Bin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 9157
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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The project offers new insight on the place of friendship in Forster's work, examining its political, philosophic, discursive, and aesthetic implications. Through examination of archival material, it focuses especially on some of his own friendships to delineate their influence in the development of his ideas, while highlighting the links across a long and varied discursive tradition of friendship. It, thus, works across the interstices of biography, fiction, and non-fiction. The emphasis on the literary friendship with Forrest Reid has hitherto been accorded scant regard, and provides for a particularly original argument regarding Forster's novel Maurice, using the E. M. Forster-Forrest Reid Letters Archive at Special Collections, QUB (MS44/1/22), and Reid's fiction, namely The Garden God. With regard to A Passage to India, the thesis traces the place of friendship from within Hinduism and Islam, including Bhakti and Sufi traditions, or both orthodox and heterodox religious traditions, which allow Forster to include desire within the realms of friendship. The dissertation displays the political potential for friendship in Forster's oeuvre to challenge the exclusionary boundaries of the colonial and liberal state by redefining what friendship entails, and who can be a friend. Same-sex desire, and inter-race and inter-class relations become embroiled in this new friendship. Forster's realization of this holistic model of friendship emerges through various standpoints in his novels-from a Greco-Roman philosophic understanding of friendship, through a deconstruction of late nineteenth-century Platonism, to an assimilation of the Eastern religious and poetic ideas about friendship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available