E. M. Forster Quotes

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.

You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive.

I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.

… there are shadows because there are hills.

Give, do not lend; after death who will thank you?

Human relations are impossible. When they are real they are uncomfortable, and when they are comfortable they are unreal. It was for the journey into solitude that the human soul was created.

How can I know what I think till I see what I say?

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

When you come back you will not be you. And I may not be I.

What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?

Think before you speak is criticism’s motto; speak before you think, creation’s.

We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.

Unless we remember we cannot understand.

I cannot help thinking that there is something to admire in everyone, even if you do not approve of them.

Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.

Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.

It isn’t possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.

What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.

The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.

Though life is very glorious, it is difficult.

There is an aristocracy of the sensitive. They represent the true human tradition of permanent victory over cruelty and chaos.

The four characteristics of humanism are curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race.