I had been hearing about Henry James, but never read him. I found The Wings Of The Dove as an e-book and downloaded it. I realized right away that the text had been taken straight from the OCR output with no attempt to correct the mistakes in lettering or formatting errors. After reading awhile I realized that there may be no author for whom this is a more serious challenge.

I gather he was attempting to explore some of the modern insights into psychology and skimming along the stream of consciousness of his characters. That this may make for some difficult reading with convoluted sentence structure shifting place-setting between continents mid-sentence and reality melding with fancy between blinks of the eye is acceptable despite the handicap of a bastard edit-ion that murdered bis words. What was disappointing to me was the apparent conclusion by James that we are all diplomats to ourselves representing nation-selves who probe our way through life heeding the slightest nuances of protocol to round the corner of human intercourse. Are we all such schemers? Was that breeze that lifted the hat indicative of a shift in attitude and can I not get lost in a nightmare of self-fed back loops of rorschach hypersensitivity?

His take on human consciousness seemed so medieval for someone breaking ground into the 20th. Century. I don't refer to the unconscious deceit people employ, but the vainglorious lust for their minds. Do people, the kind of people you walk past on a daily basis, really consider every moment, every utterance or glance against a check sheet of the 12 permutations of the eight fundamental principles? Or I have waited to live until too late in the century and become the insensitive American bumpkin of modern times?

In short, I'm rather impromptu in dealing with people. Do others match James's observations more closely and analyze relationships by the word and lapse? It would also be good to hear from people who really like the way James approached his vision. The poor edition I read was full of holes and much of the genius, I fear, leaked out of the typos.