By David Dowling
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Additional resources for Bloomsbury Aesthetics and the Novels of Forster and Woolf
P. 25) So important is this theme of the right conception ofltaly's formal beauty that Forster intrudes at this early stage to tell us that Philip was indeed losing this sense of the romantic, and that the sooner it goes the better. If one reads the above quotation carefully one sees the typical Forsterian stance in the description ofltalian history: religion and beauty there were, certainly, but above all there was fighting. This refusal to ignore the paramount human foibles extends to Forster's description of Ghirlandaio's fresco of Santa Deodata.
The difference between Bell's and Forster's aesthetics lies in the different emphases placed on space and time. For Bell, beauty is spatial and exists out of time; for Forster it is intimately connected with time. This is why in Aspects of the Novel he depends so heavily on the word 'rhythm', preferring it to 'pattern' because it carries with it an essential temporal dimension. Even pattern is harnessed firmly to the reins of Cronos: 'it springs mainly from the plot, accompanies it like a light in the clouds, and remains visible after it has departed'.
39 While Woolf might not have been flattered by the company, the visual analogy is illuminating for Woolf s work. In 1928 Bell wrote equally vividly on Proust, describing his effects in visual terms: It is in states, not action, that he deals. The movement is that of an expanding flower or insect . . the fact remains suspended while we watch it gradually changing its shape, its colour, its consistency . . Proust brings the past into the present and creating a shape not in space but in time .
Bloomsbury Aesthetics and the Novels of Forster and Woolf by David Dowling