A collection of critical essays and studies. Bell, London: Palgrave Macmillan, James, consumerism and the new marketplace. Ambiguity and interpretation in the major works. A collection of major critical essays. A study of consciousness in the author and his characters. Twenty original essays divided into sections on Criticism and Theory, Fiction, and Non-fiction. The psychology, literary function, and cultural roots of the new American girl. Close readings of the late novels, autobiography, travel writings, and criticism.
Henry James: A study of the short fiction — Richard A. Hocks, New York: Twayne Publishers, Close readings and critical analyses of the major short fictions. Eleven essays on the middle and late fiction. The name field is required. Please enter your name.
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Subjects James, Henry, -- -- Criticism and interpretation. James, Henry, -- View all subjects More like this User lists Similar Items. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Englewood Cliffs, N. Reviews User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first. The outbreak of World War I was a profound shock for James, and in he became a British citizen to declare his loyalty to his adopted country and to protest America's refusal to enter the war on behalf of Britain.
James suffered a stroke in London on December 2, , and died three months later. James is one of the major figures of trans-Atlantic literature, which is to say that his works frequently juxtapose characters from different worlds—the Old World Europe , simultaneously artistic, corrupting, and alluring; and the New World United States , where people are often brash, open, and assertive—and explore how this clash of personalities and cultures affects the two worlds.
He favored internal, psychological drama, and his work is often about conflicts between imaginative protagonists and their difficult environments. When he walked out of the refuge of his study and into the world and looked around him, he saw a place of torment, where creatures of prey perpetually thrust their claws into the quivering flesh of doomed, defenseless children of light…. His novels are a repeated exposure of this wickedness, a reiterated and passionate plea for the fullest freedom of development, unimperilled by reckless and barbarous stupidity.
His earlier work is considered realist because of the carefully described details of his characters' physical surroundings.
Henry James : A Collection of Critical Essays by Ruth Bernard Yeazell (1993, Paperback)
But, throughout his long career, James maintained a strong interest in a variety of artistic effects and movements. His work gradually became more metaphorical and symbolic as he entered more deeply into the minds of his characters. James seemed to change from a fairly straightforward style in his earlier writing to a more elaborate manner in his later works.
Biographers have noted that the change of style occurred at approximately the time that James began dictating his fiction to a secretary. Henry James was afflicted with a mild stutter. He overcame this by cultivating the habit of speaking very slowly and deliberately. Since he believed that good writing should resemble the conversation of an intelligent man, the process of dictating his works may perhaps account for a shift in style from direct to conversational sentences.
The resulting prose style is at times baroque. His friend Edith Wharton , who admired him greatly, said that there were some passages in his works that were all but incomprehensible. Many of his later short stories—"Europe," "Paste" and "Mrs. Medwin," for instance—are briefer and more straightforward in style than some tales of his earlier years.
Henry James - Bibliography - Presses universitaires de Liège
For much of his life James was an expatriate living in Europe. Much of The Portrait of a Lady was written while he lived in Venice , a city whose beauty he found distracting; he was better pleased with the small town of Rye in England. This feeling of being an American in Europe came through as a recurring theme in his books, which contrasted American innocence or lack of sophistication with European sophistication or decadence , as described in his major novels The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, and The Golden Bowl.
He made only a modest living from his books, yet was often the houseguest of the wealthy. James had grown up in a well-to-do family, and he was able to fraternize with the upper-class, gaining from them many of the impressions he would eventually include in his fiction, just as Honore de Balzac had once done in Parisian salons. James said he got some of his best story ideas from dinner table gossip. Oddly, however, when James toured America in , he met Roosevelt at a White House dinner and dubbed Roosevelt "Theodore Rex" and called him "a dangerous and ominous jingo.
He was never a full member of any camp. These poets are not, like Dickens and Hardy , writers of melodrama—either humorous or pessimistic, nor secretaries of society like Balzac, nor prophets like Tolstoy : they are occupied simply with the presentation of conflicts of moral character, which they do not concern themselves about softening or averting. They do not indict society for these situations: they regard them as universal and inevitable. They do not even blame God for allowing them: they accept them as the conditions of life. The Portrait of a Lady may be an experiment to see what happens when an idealistic young woman suddenly becomes very rich; alternatively, it has been suggested that the storyline was inspired by Charles Darwin's theory of sexual selection, where males compete to the death for the attention of females.
The novella The Turn of the Screw describes the psychological history of an unmarried and, some critics suggest, repressed and possibly unbalanced young governess. The unnamed governess stumbles into a terrifying, ambiguous situation involving her perceptions of the ghosts of a lately deceased couple—her predecessor, Miss Jessel, and Miss Jessel's lover, Peter Quint. In all, James wrote 22 novels, including two left unfinished at his death, tales of varying lengths, along with many plays and a large number of nonfiction essays and books.
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The style of these novels is generally straightforward and, though personally characteristic, well within the norms of nineteenth-century fiction. Roderick Hudson is a bildungsroman that traces the development of the title character, an extremely talented sculptor. Although Roderick Hudson featured mostly American characters in a European setting, James made the Europe—America contrast even more explicit in his next novel.
In fact, the contrast could be considered the leading theme of The American This book is a combination of social comedy and melodrama concerning the adventures and misadventures of Christopher Newman, an essentially good-hearted but rather gauche American businessman on his first tour of Europe. Newman is looking for a world different from the simple, harsh realities of nineteenth-century American business. He encounters both the beauty and the ugliness of Europe, and learns not to take either for granted.
James did not set all of his novels in Europe or focus exclusively on the contrast between the New World and the Old. Set in New York City, Washington Square is a deceptively simple tragicomedy that recounts the conflict between a dull but sweet daughter and her brilliant, domineering father. The book is often compared to Jane Austen's work for the clarity and grace of its prose and its intense focus on family relationships.
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James was not particularly enthusiastic about Jane Austen, so he might not have regarded the comparison as flattering. In fact, James was not enthusiastic about Washington Square itself. He tried to read it over for inclusion in the New York Edition of his fiction — but found that he could not. So he excluded the novel from the edition. But other readers have enjoyed the book enough to make it one of the more popular works in the entire Jamesian canon.