La mel es més dolÇa que la sang: Fiction as Magical Intervention - a reading of E.M. Forster’s The Life to Come

John Ryan


Drawing on Deborah Bird Rose’s notion that there is a need for a magical intervention on the part of individuals if humanity is to survive, this paper will consider how the ethical interventions of fiction writers are acts of imagination that bring about a new idea of the past (history), the human being (memory) and our own Life to Come (the mythic). The paper explores a short story by E M Forster. The Life To Come, written in 1922 and published fifty years later in 1972, is set in the eye of an historical encounter both postcolonial and queer. Forster’s story gives voice to an alternative historical space often made invisible; it represents one of, what Ashis Nandy calls, History’s Forgotten Doubles. The Life to Come is therefore a marker within a cultural discourse about injustice and the past, that continues to emerge, and write the world: it shifts the contents of our histories and memories through the invocation of myth. In the second part of the paper, I explore recent examples of this literary tradition.


ahistorical; forster; heteronormative; post-colonial; queer; myth

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