Individual versus Collective? Layers of Memory in Forster's 'West Hackhurst'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


E.M. Forster's 'West Hackhurst: A Surrey Ramble' (c. 1943-48) is a complicated and subtle account of an ageing man's personal memories (it was written when Forster was in his mid- to late sixties). Its multilayered treatment of memory is importantly related to its time of composition, during and immediately after the Second World War, while its span of memory reaches back to Forster's early childhood in the 1880s. Memory in 'West Hackhurst' is both personal and that of a specific social class of people who lived in leisure off inherited and invested money, a class wealthy and powerful in late Victorian England and declining towards extinction in the 1940s. Its active and practical theorization of memory in these contexts nuances the picture of collective memory in relation to nationally traumatic events such as wars given by writers such as Assmann (2006) and Huyssen (2003).

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationThe Capricious Thread: Memory and the Modernist Text
EditorsTeresa Prudente
PublisherEdizioni dell'Orso
ISBN (Print)9788862742894
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Biography
  • Cultural memory
  • Forster, E.M. (1879-1970)
  • Memory

Cite this