The Portable Henry James (Penguin Classics)

The Portable Henry James (Penguin Classics)

Henry James

Language: English

Pages: 672

ISBN: 0142437670

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Henry James wrote with an imperial elegance of style, whether his subjects were American innocents or European sophisticates, incandescent women or their vigorous suitors. His omniscient eye took in the surfaces of cities, the nuances of speech, dress, and manner, and, above all, the microscopic interactions, hesitancies, betrayals, and self-betrayals that are the true substance of relationships. The entirely new Portable Henry James provides an unparalleled range of this great body of work: seven major tales, including Daisy Miller, The Turn of the Screw, "The Beast in the Jungle," and "The Jolly Corner"; a sampling of revisions James made to some of his most famous work; travel writing; literary criticism; correspondences; autobiography; descriptions of the major novels; and parodies by famous contemporaries, including T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, and Graham Greene.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


















a revulsion, recalling that it was exactly where more than a month before, in the darkness of night and just so bowed with evil things, I had seen the spectre of the most horrible of women. At this I was able to straighten myself; I went the rest of the way up; I made, in my bewilderment, for the school-room, where there were objects belonging to me that I should have to take. But I opened the door to find again, in a flash, my eyes unsealed. In the presence of what I saw I reeled straight back

They are perhaps what the races politically feeble have still most to contribute—but what appears to be the happy prospect for the races politically feeble? And so the afternoon waned, among the mellow marbles and the pleasant folk—the purple wine flowed, the golden light faded, song and dance grew free and circulation slightly embarrassed. But the great impression remained and finally was exquisite. It was all purple wine, all art and song, and nobody a grain the worse. It was fireworks and

away which must often bring tears to the eyes of people who take their fiction seriously. I was lately struck, in reading over many pages of Anthony Trollope, with his want of discretion in this particular. In a digression, a parenthesis or an aside, he concedes to the reader that he and this trusting friend are only “making believe.” He admits that the events he narrates have not really happened, and that he can give his narrative any turn the reader may like best. Such a betrayal of a sacred

some people would say, of curiosity and enthusiasm provoked by Mlle. Bernhardt. I spoke just now of topics, and what they were worth in the London system. This remarkable actress has filled this function with a completeness that leaves nothing to be desired; her success has been altogether the most striking and curious, although by no means, I think, the most gratifying, incident of the visit of the Comédie. It has not been the most gratifying, because it has been but in a very moderate degree an

advantageous—in her terms, surely, a suitable—match. She merely invokes an inflexible old wisdom, a “vieille sagesse,” as the foundation of her actions, and she leaves it at that. The shaken American stares into her exquisitely delivered revelation, suddenly aware that he is glimpsing something “ancient and cold in it—what he would have called the real thing.” Some Europeans might insist that American innocence in Henry James is less ignorance of evil than an inability to comprehend how insecure

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