Oppression and Inspiration

On several occasions, as I frustratedly jabbed my backspace button sharply, I’ve thought to myself, “If only I were some troubled soul, trapped and unable to express myself in life! Then, by God, I’d be able to express real emotion!”

Apparently, this might on some level be true, or so Robert Fulford suggests in a recent article on E.M. Forster .

A separate question is the effect on Forster as a writer. Would he have written better novels if the antihomosexual laws had been reformed in the 1890s rather than in the 1960s? He seems to have thought so. On the other hand, fans of Maurice are thin on the ground.

The article recapitulates the fascinating account of the effect Forster’s homosexuality had on his work proposed by Wendy Moffat, who believes that it played a much larger role than academe tends to acknowledge. More importantly, the article raises interesting questions about inspiration as a result of oppression.