Trilling described The Longest Journey as “perhaps the most brilliant, the most dramatic, and the most passionate” of E.M. Forster’s works. Certainly it’s the most autobiographical – but its form confuses many. Full of sudden death, hopeless love, and quaintly doomed relationships – and yet for all that, it’s an enormously engaging work. It was Forster’s own favourite of his works; he felt that in Stephen he had created a living being.
“The cow is there,” said Ansell, lighting a match and holding it out over the carpet. No one spoke. He waited till the end of the match fell off. Then he said again, “She is there, the cow. There, now.”
“You have not proved it,” said a voice.
“I have proved it to myself.”