Works of Henry James
The fonds , in a word, are very tiresome. His lesson includes a visit with a shepherd who has been in feudal service for thirty-five years. Yet but for the accident of my having gossipped with him I should have made him do service, in memory, as an example of sensuous optimism! The odour was that of petroleum; the votive taper was nourished with the essence of Pennsylvania. I confess that I burst out laughing. Despite his astounding productivity and active social life James also toured the British Isles and published fourteen travel sketches or essays on these visits between and In these essays, which were published in American magazines, he continued to make explicit comparisons between his host and native countries, tending to favor the conservative institutions of the Old World.
Often, however, he abandoned these transatlantic comparisons to face with fresh directness not only the beautiful scenes that reflected the privileged class of society that frequented them but also the overvisited public places that attracted the less-winning elements of the population, a spectacle that portended schisms in the cherished old order.
Human life is cheap; your fellow mortals are too numerous.cmnv.org/lady-susan-los-watson.php
The Novels and Stories of Henry James
It tests the parameters of travel writing to wonder whether these pieces may be properly classified within this genre since they originate from the place where the author had chosen to call home and concern not the classical monuments of nature and civilization but the passing parade of a modern nations working people. It seemed a great aesthetic wrong that so charming a place should not be a conscious, sentient home.
In England all this is very common. But they were all very prosaic little mortals.
Henry James - Wikipedia
Osgood of Boston with a different introductory note. This collection includes three sketches of France that appeared in The Galaxy and The Atlantic during and as well as three of his Paris letters to the New York Tribune ; two chapters on Italy, one that appeared in Century Magazine in and another that appeared in two parts in The Atlantic in ; eight pieces on England written and published between and ; and the four travel pieces on America and Canada that he wrote for The Nation in The later travel essays mark again the distance James had traveled in a dozen years, from an alienated cultivator of the picturesque to an engaged mediator between the contending poles of his culture.
This supposition must be weighed with the fact that during the s James developed his skill at the political and cultural critique in novels such as The Bostonians and The Princess Casamassima , which sold poorly at their publication but received considerable critical acclaim in the twentieth century. His next travel volume after Portraits of Places is perhaps his most perfect, climaxing his most active decade in the genre. In contrast to the sketches of his previous travel books, these articles cover extended touring and so cohere more naturally in book form.
Though he worked with no definite commitment, James undertook his autumn tour for these pieces on the recommendation of an editor at Harper and Brothers. Later, when that firm was not forthcoming with a contract, James sold the manuscript to Osgood. A Little Tour in France marks the happy convergence of an author at the height of his powers and a subject ripe for treatment.
Much of the thematic content of A Little Tour in France is familiar, but James avoided social commentary. More professionally and purposefully than in his earlier pieces, he employed an avuncular tone to advise the reader on matters both abstract and material. The humor implicit in such quickly scratched details leaps out in little set pieces, as in this description of medieval friezes of the Judgment Day at Bourges:. The good get out of their tombs with a certain modest gaiety, an alacrity tempered by respect.
Wherever one goes, in France, one meets. To make us forgive it at all, how much it must also have destroyed that was more hateful than itself! William H. At this point in his career James, only a little more than halfway through his long and productive life, had completed the significant majority of his travel writing about the world outside the United States. In his remaining thirty-two years, as he advanced in the craft of writing fiction, memoirs, and criticism and experimented disastrously with playwriting, James wrote only one more original travel book, The American Scene.
English Hours includes ninety-two illustrations by the distinguished American watercolorist Joseph Pennell, who had begun his collaboration with James by drawing thirteen illustrations for London in the December issue of Century Magazine and then did ninety-four illustrations for A Little Tour in France. But I was more afraid he would get run over, though I think the dog did in the end. James attempted to effect a similar transformation on his earlier pieces for English Hours.
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From the beginning James conceived of The American Scene as a unified book based on travel notes he had made during a lecture tour in the United States that lasted from late August until early July In James, then in his sixties, toured southern France with his friend and fellow novelist Edith Wharton, who based A Motor-Flight Through France on the trip, and then went on to Italy with Italian explorer and traveler Filippo de Filippi. The new essays James wrote especially for Italian Hours manifest the luminous and hypnotic obscurity of this final manner. In Collected Travel Writings Richard Howard includes four essays written for various publications during World War I in support of the war effort and on behalf of refugees in Great Britain.
These essays serve as a lucid and powerful bookend to the world James began exploring and recording a half-century before. As in his finest travel writing he negotiated again the burdens of self-consciousness and those of the world he meets. Months have elapsed. While critics have debated his greatness, an enduring audience of readers has discovered in his life and works a marvelous application of opportunity, integrity, and intellect to subjects that still confront the aesthetic conscience. Prose Home Harriet Blog.
Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous. Henry James. Traveling often throughout his long and productive life, Henry James wrote fiction and travel literature about Americans in Europe and Europeans in America during the great epoch of transatlantic tourism and exchange in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Like her husband, the self-effacing Mary Robertson Walsh James — was descended from Irish immigrants who had prospered in New York State early in the nineteenth century. During the s and s the Jameses relocated from one European or American intellectual and social capital to another, learning foreign languages, reading eclectically, and exploring professional possibilities outside the traditional American world of business. During the s the Jameses stayed on the American side of the Atlantic in Boston, New York, Newport, and Cambridge , and Henry spent one academic year at Harvard Law School — and began to publish stories and reviews in American magazines and journals.
In the family financed a grand tour of Europe for him with the intention that, like his brother William recently returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts , Henry would proceed to Germany to study philosophy and languages. He was already fluent in French and Italian. Committed to a literary life of his own design, however, James, after consorting with the American community and family friends in England, took another path. It beats everything: it leaves the Rome of your fancy—your education—nowhere. I went reeling and moaning thro' the streets, in a fever of enjoyment. In the course of four or five hours I traversed almost the whole of Rome and got a glimpse of everything.
For the first time I know what the picturesque is. Before you reach the gates, however, you will have been reminded at a dozen points that you have come abroad. What is the essential difference of tone between street-life in an old civilization and in a new? It seems to be the general fact of detail itself—the hint in the air of a slow, accidental accretion, in obedience to needs more timidly considered and more sparingly gratified than the pressing necessities of American progress.
No spot in Rome can show a cluster of more charming accidents. The ancient brick apse of the church peeps down into the trees of the little wooded walk before the neighbouring church of San Gregorio.
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Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Especially nice to re-read Washington Square.
For ex. I love Catherine Sloper and fearless Daisy Miller. I love how so many end in death. Weak hearts! It was so sweet to see what he underlined and the notes he made from when he was in college.
The 100 best novels: No 36 – The Golden Bowl by Henry James (1904)
The book kind of fell apart as I was reading it. I feel so lucky to have his old books. Mar 12, Alexis added it. Well, I did it.
I read "Teh James", as I will now refer to him. My response was about what I expected it to be: mostly bored, occasionally impressed with the craft of it, mostly interested in how he expresses characters' interiority. Oh, and whoa, creepy sexual connotations in The Turn of the Screw! Actually, The Turn of the Screw sort of made it all worth it. Reminded me that I really really really like Gothic stuff. View 1 comment. Aug 29, Daniel Severin rated it it was amazing. This is a superb but obscure edition, likely the effect of the author's works being in the public domain.
The tales are all classics and for James rather more accessible than some of the novels. All are different but highly recommended, from the framed gothic tale of The Turn of the Screw to the doomed love of Washington Square. View all 6 comments. Jun 12, Shane Haensgen rated it liked it. I read "Daisy Miller" and it was somewhat entertaining. I wonder if James wrote all women as vapid, useless intellectual drains on society? But James' writing style is so wonderfully structured that it's like reading a slow orgasm.
I wish he were alive to just follow me around an narrate my life. Jul 08, Jim rated it really liked it. Always an excellent read. I find that I like to reread James. He's really a master at creating suspense and questions about character, such as reliable or unreliable narrators. Recommend "The Turn of the Screw" and analysis for newbies. Apr 15, Steph rated it really liked it.
As much as I want to rag on James for confusing me, his writing style is unique and impeccable. Great read even though I grind my teeth while reading it, you will benefit from it!!! Paul rated it liked it Nov 19,