The Forster Connection or, Cosmopolitanism Redux: Zadie Smith's On Beauty, Howards End, and the Schlegels

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christian Moraru, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: To be sure, On Beauty can be read as a tribute to Forster, on several levels. An exquisite response to Howards End, the novel repays Smith's debt with cultural interest, so to speak, by retelling Forster's story for the new millennium's globalizing world, with the politically conservative, religious-minded Caribbean-British Kippses and the racially mixed, more liberal American Belseys playing in today's Boston the parts the British writer assigns the Wilcoxes and the Schlegels, respectively, in Howards End's early twentieth-century London. What is more, Smith's intertextual tour-de-force has a precise focus. As I argue, her novel's "Forster connection" sets out to foreground connectedness itself; it is this concept and the whole array of cosmopolitan cultural-emotional experiences associated with it that, through Foster, On Beauty "drags" into our time (Caldwell).

Additional Information

The Comparatist 35 (May 2011): 133-147
Language: English
Date: 2011
Literary Analysis, E.M. Foster, Howard’s End, Zadie Smith, On Beauty, Culture, Cosmopolitanism

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