On the Film Maurice directed by James Ivory check:
As usually, when I speak about literature or cinema I prefer to send readers to competent and appropriated websites and I specifically like to keep for me the gay aspects of the book and the film. If, from my point of view “Another country” by James Baldwin represents the number one, “Maurice” by E.M. Forster represents the number two, if not another number one ex aequo. When I read this novel for the first time I experimented the exciting sensation of having between my hands a book that would be always on my bedside table. The book is extraordinarily moving. Maurice and Clive, his mate at college, start an homosexual relation, that seems a destined history of long-lasting and deep love to being, but Clive is an ambitious aristocratic young man and chooses to sacrifice the love on the altar of the political career that as homosexual he wouldn’t be allowed to start, he goes further to pretend to fall in love with a girl and to marry her. Maurice and Clive will continue to meet only in a formal way but the first love story of the book went to the end. Maurice, invited from Clive in his estate, knows the Clive’s wife but above all he gets in touch with another young man, a game warden, Scudder. While the aristocratic friends of Clive deal Scuder as a servant and humiliate him giving him little money, Maurice just from the first moment deals with him with respect never caring about social differences and the two of them understand that for them something very different is going to start. In a shadow night Scudder enters the window of Maurice’s room and they make love, the moment is thrilling but next morning Maurice is attacked from the doubt that Scudder could blackmail him, Maurice and Scudder will end up to speak each other clearly and to understand that they are essential to one another. Scudder is to leave as emigrating and Maurice is desperate, he needs to see him, to speak to him, but he does not succeed to that, he goes to the wharf where the steamboat is going to leave but Scudder is not there, then Maurice remembered that they had spoken about the possibility of meeting in the remittance of the boats of Clive’s estate, he goes there as soon as he can and Scudder is really there, he didn’t go away, Maurice is happy so that he can’t even speak And since Maurice did not speak, indeed could not, hi added, “And now we shan’t be parted no more, and that’s finished.”
The last chapter of the book has the bitter taste of the revenge or of the contrappasso of Dante: Clive can see of the happiness of Maurice, he knows that Maurice made the right choice and that he will be in love with Scudder in a reciprocal love affair, while he, aristocratic social climber, will have to go to bed with a beautiful girl whom he does not love and whose life he will ruin in order to follow his ambitions. The novel introduces two characters who represents the gay morality (Maurice) and the gay immorality (Clive). Maurice is a “honest gay” who when falls in love can’t love without getting completely involved and is not inclined to loose love and happiness no matter what he could get in exchange, he loves Scudder and that’s why he affords real risks, putting apart chaste privileges, Clive is the “dishonest gay” who don’t hesitate to set his sexuality apart to get in exchange social privileges, he’s just selling himself to get social prestige. Every dialectic is impossible between these two characters who are the incarnation of the good and the evil under the gay perspective. And about Scudder, who’s not a low range character, I can say that he represents for Maurice the opportunity, the only occasion in order to exit from the limbo of the sublimation. Scudder puts in practice the first real sexual initiatives and in making it he risks a lot and also Scudder has a high morality, a gross man could have used the arm of blackmail but this thought does not grazes him at all not even when he understands that this is just what Maurice is thinking about, he gives him a strong morality lesson reproaching him fur his suspicion of being object of such a low action from his part. Maurice will understand. In the book as in the film there are also more common or strange elements like the doctor that thinks clearly that the homosexuals doesn’t even exist, but these are for sure contour elements. The book is a masterwork because it outlines for the first time the many deep lines of a gay morality, the morality of the respect, of the deep love, of never selling yourself. This novel and the film directed by Ivolry deserve a special attention from the gay part, because if Forster has written many masterworks for the others, he wrote Maurice for himself and also for us. For a gay person, to read Maurice and to see the film are fundamental experiences. Personally I can only say that this book and this film have been very important in my moral formation.