Friday, September 9, 2011

Maurice by E.M. Forster

I wouldn't call this a review post, mainly because I doubt I'd be able to write a suitable one. However, I couldn't just let it pass without writing something about the book that will most likely end up being one of my all time favorites.

Written in the 1910s, but not released until 1971, after the author's death,  Maurice is an Edwardian story about love, class, and finding oneself. The title character is a young man who comes to understand that he is homosexual. We see him through two relationships: first with his schoolmate Clive, who unfortunately goes into the closet and breaks Maurice's heart; second, with Alec, a games keeper who works on Clive's estate.

The novel was just beautifully written. Some chapters, such as Maurice and Clive's breakup, and the cricket match, were masterpieces.

I mean, really, the themes are the same in a lot of romantic-type novels, but of course it's different in this case. The thing that struck me the most was the fact that two gay men could have a happily ever after. That's it. No consequences, no nothing. Just a beautiful, romantic ending. And that was wonderful.

If you plan on reading this, or if you've already read it, I highly suggest watching the 1987 Merchant Ivory film (psst, it's on youtube). I watched it the day after I finished the novel and it just completed the experience for me. Some scenes, such as the ending, became even more beautiful with the visual. And, if I may get superficial for a moment, it's got a very nice-looking, young Rupert Graves. That's a bonus.