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Why Leonard Bast Had To Be Killed

Why Leonard Bast Had To Be Killed The misfortunes of the clerk Leonard Bast in E. M. Forster's Howards End have frequently been read as a symptom of modernism's disdain for the lower-middle classes and their aspirations for cultural education. But Howards End is better seen as an extended meditation on the relationship of art and labour, and a criticism of the aesthetic education that Bast receives from the wealthy Schlegel sisters. Using Jacques Rancière's idea that aesthetic form and social power alike distribute speaking and non-speaking roles, the article discerns in the foreclosure of Bast's life and experiences an educational and aesthetic failure which Forster's bourgeois narrator is too keen to reproduce. By offering the possibility of resisting its own narrator, Howards End opens up another form of modernist pedagogy which does not create the pupil in the image of the teacher. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Why Leonard Bast Had To Be Killed

Modernist Cultures , Volume 14 (3): 22 – Aug 1, 2019

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2019.0261
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The misfortunes of the clerk Leonard Bast in E. M. Forster's Howards End have frequently been read as a symptom of modernism's disdain for the lower-middle classes and their aspirations for cultural education. But Howards End is better seen as an extended meditation on the relationship of art and labour, and a criticism of the aesthetic education that Bast receives from the wealthy Schlegel sisters. Using Jacques Rancière's idea that aesthetic form and social power alike distribute speaking and non-speaking roles, the article discerns in the foreclosure of Bast's life and experiences an educational and aesthetic failure which Forster's bourgeois narrator is too keen to reproduce. By offering the possibility of resisting its own narrator, Howards End opens up another form of modernist pedagogy which does not create the pupil in the image of the teacher.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2019

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