In his last monthly column in Têtu Bruce Benderson suggests that the best way to "overcoming the crisis of the post-fifty" is to remodel one's own apartment, particularly with the use of flashy colors: "I can swear that an environment that looks young can, unbelievably, be a magnet to the young." I am not even sure he is ironic...
1925. Forster is in London. He has just published A Passage to India which has become a bestseller. It will be his last novel. Three years earlier, back in Egypt, the first love of his life had died from tuberculosis.
The day after his forty-sixth birthday he writes in his diary, as quoted in Wendy Moffat's A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010, 416p) which I recently finished (an interesting read focusing on E.M. Forster's homosexuality):
Famous wealthy, miserable, physically ugly - red nose enormous, round patch in the middle of scalp which I forget less than I did and which is brown when I don't wash my head and pink when I do. Face in the distance - mirrors of Reform Club - is toad-like and pallid, with a tiny rim of hair at the top of the triangle. My stoop must be appealing. Am surprised I don't repel more generally: I can still get to know anyone I want and have that illusion that I am charming and beautiful... Stomach increases, but not yet visible under waistcoat. The anus is clotted with hairs, and there is a great loss of sexual power - it was very violent 1921-22. Eyes and probably hearing weaker.
He still had forty five years to live... and had not yet met the greatest love of his life.