"Difficult 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, short stories, and novels, including "A Room with a View, " which alludes to Beethoven, Wagner, and Schumann, and "Howards End, " which explicitly alerts readers 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.
"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 "Briskly written and highly readable." Times Literary Supplement "A very comprehensive and perceptive assessment of the role of music in E. M. Forester's life and work." Music and Letters