E. M. Forster Questions and Answers

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What does E. M. Forster say about the duties that the artist, as a citizen, has to the community?

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As a fierce individualist Forster is deeply skeptical, not to say, scathing, of the very idea that an artist has any specific duty to the state or society. For him, an artist will always be an "outsider," a "parasite," even a "rat"! Among other things, this means that there is no reciprocal relationship between the artist and the state beyond that of any one other citizen of a given territory. The artist owes nothing to the state, just as the state owes nothing to the artist. Any claims to the contrary are based on a profound misunderstanding of both the artist and the state.

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