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312 of ideas," structure is more important than characterization (p. 102; my emphasis added). It is good to learn in 1I1 G1 We¿_l^ i_n Love that WeI ls's last years were spent in a house that approximated his ideal: "I like the setting of my life; this house in Hanover Terrace is pleasant in every way and the lines of my life are now almost continually agreeable" (p. 214). Here he found a stabilizing structure upon which the "lines" of his life could depend. Indeed, Wells's search for stability even suggested to him a sort of predestination in his life, a view that recalls his earliest writing and so structurally brings his later thoughts around full circle with their origins: "Not much free will, not much courage or assertion, but some. . . . free will ¿£ individuality. . . . Individuality is intrinsic uniqueness and spontaneous initiative. Spontaneous initiative is creation and creation is divinity. And that, I realize, is what I began to say in my first published article " in 1891 (p. 237). This structural circularity closes H1 G1 WeI Is in Love, a book which gives Wells the last word on his relationships with women, the subject of far too many speculative and misguided studies in recent years. For me it is the least interesting aspect of the man, and I hope that since we now have WeI ls's own full account of this feature of his life, we can focus more on what is really noteworthy about him: his ideas and his art. William J. Scheick University of Texas, Austin 6. BLOOMSBURY, FÖRSTER AND WOOLF David Dowling. Bloomsbury Aesthetics and the Novels of Forster and Woolf. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. $22.50 Pavid Powling's book is ambitious. In under 250 pages, he considers the relationships among the arts, especially pronouncements of Roger Fry and Clive Bell; E. M. Forster's and Virginia Woolf's knowledge of these theories; both novelists ' attitudes towards the arts; and their attitudes toward each other's work. Little in these preliminary chapters is new, but the syntheses are useful. Powling attempts, in addition, to treat chronologically all of the novels of both Forster and Woolf "from the point of view of fine-art aesthetics ." Focusing on the theories of Fry and Bell and their actual or potential applications to literature, Dowling isolates "significant form, psychological volume, rhythm, the aesthetic emotion" as essential considerations (p. 28). Some 313 fresh insights result, and the contrasts between Forster and Woolf in this context are provocative if not always convincing . Of the many relationships between paintings and novels, two are central to Dowling's study. Although he could have done considerably more with it, his interest in the "temporal form of the novel," within which references to paintings can appear in the narrative to aid in character development, is valuable. The second relationship, which he considers "crucial" to his book, is more problematic. It is "the sense that a novel should be appreciated in the same way as a painting is" (p. 7). Powling seems to find this approach easier in the case of Woolf than of Forster. Even so, when she moves in her later work from a focus on individuals to groups, it is more difficult, Dowling says, for the reader to comprehend her aesthetic whole (p. 220). Instead of characters ' epiphanies, the reader's "epiphanic moment upon completion of the novel" becomes most important (p. 221). Dowling is right to separate these two responses. He is also probably wise to avoid stylistic analyses in painterly terms in favor of structural and thematic emphases, although it would have made sense to explain why at the outset. Admitting that he puts it "crudely," Dowling concludes that Forster's novels embody his attraction to G. E. Moore's emphasis on friendship while Woolf's embody his emphasis on beautiful objects. Forster, although influenced by them, tends to undermine the aesthetic theories of Roger Fry and Clive Bell while Woolf accepts an amalgamation of their views. The two novelists thus define differently both the novel and the process of reading one. Forster's interest is in people and thus in the creative process rather...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 312-315
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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