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Thread: Why I love reading Henry James: an analysis

  1. #1
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    Why I love reading Henry James: an analysis

    In these days of fast paced entertainment reading a book can be the equivalent of a walk in a spring forest. The story is handed out at a measured tempo and you can digest it at your leisure. Having read a particularly difficult part you can stare outside for a moment and mull over the words you just read. The story will be waiting there for you to commence reading whenever you are ready.

    This way of enjoying a book does also allow for appreciating the language used by the author. This is especially important when reading Henry James, I feel. His writing is often intricate and ingenious. It takes time to read a Henry James novel as story, that which makes you turn pages, is of lesser importance than the words itself.

    I wrote an article going deeper into this element of reading Henry James. If you are interested, you can find it here:
    http://www.noisepollution.nl/?p=1845

    The article is an analysis of why I love reading Henry James. This is of course a personal matter but I would be interested to know whether other Henry James readers feel the same way.

    Kind regards,

    Henk de Kruyff
    The Netherlands

  2. #2
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    There is a certain charm to reading a Henry James work. It's very different from other writing, not just because he is a Victorian, but also because his world view is so distinct.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    td: I am something of a Jamesian, an over-simplified one, to some minds, but I am one notch below a fanatic who knows every fact at hand and yet is incapable of delving deeper into thematic input--and maybe, if my health holds, I can beat my chest with a few literary scholars in a year or so, with an article and a lesser essay or two.

    It is safe to say, in any case, that I am more than a common reader, and in my opinion, at the end of the day, what creates a Jamesian is James' *super-attenuation of manner* that makes his work both impenetrable and infuriating to the point of addiction.

  4. #4
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    I really like his writing. Sometimes it verges on long-winded but there are some really nice lines.

  5. #5
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    I am attracted to James by his psychological brilliance in endowing his characters with searing insight. Their reflections on their personal worlds is peerless, as 'The Golden Bowl' well illustrates.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  6. #6
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    I am attracted to James by his psychological brilliance in endowing his characters with searing insight. Their reflections on their personal worlds is peerless, as 'The Golden Bowl' well illustrates.
    Exactly. Whilst the writing style is often a little stuffy (why must he keep saying things like 'in the vulgar phrase', 'in common parlance', 'as I have said', etc.?) his non-judgemental treatment of adultery feels modern.

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