“Please, is that an omnibus?”
Hello, here’s a question for you: how shall we read the classics—or literature in general?
Let’s search the answer in today’s book, a curious little gem that all the true readers will quickly identify as such.
Best remembered for his famous novels, “A Passage to India,” “A Room with a View” and “Howards End,” E.M. Forster, a classical author sometimes unjustly seen as the spinster of the English literature, also wrote beautiful short stories, published in “Collected Short Stories” in 1947. “The Celestial Omnibus” contains six stories (“The Story of a Panic,” “The Other Side of the Hedge,” “The Celestial Omnibus,” “Other Kingdom,” “The Curate's Friend,” “The Road from Colonus”), all of them reinterpreting classical stories or themes and including elements of mythology and folklore. The cover story is a parable about reading and feeling. “The Celestial Omnibus” takes a boy and a well-read but sceptical man “to heaven.” On their journey, they meet characters from mythology and literature and if the man interacts with them mostly rationally, through his mind, the boy’s approach is more emotional and sensitive, ruled by the heart.
"The humanist has four leading characteristics: curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race,” Forster said. Therefore, by applying these four assets—that all humans should possess—to the reading experience of Forster’s elegant prose, you’ll be one step closer to finding the answer in this classic book that you will no doubt read with enthusiasm.