The Prodigal Son in the Taverna self-portrait with Saskia, c.
In addition to his sister, Alice, who was an accomplished diarist and prose stylist in her own right, his older brother, William Jameswas a famous American philosopher and psychologist.
Their father, the philosopher and theologian Henry James Sr. The James family was one of the most productive intellectual families in the history of the United Statesand Henry James was its most gifted literary stylist and innovator.
His father, Henry James Sr. In his youth James traveled with his family back and forth between Europe and the United States. He studied with tutors in GenevaLondonParis and Bonn. At the age of 19 he briefly and unsuccessfully attended Harvard University Law School, but he much preferred reading and writing fiction to studying law.
In he anonymously published his first short story, A Tragedy of Error, and from then on devoted himself completely to literature. From to his death he maintained a strenuous schedule of book publication in a variety of genres: James never married, and it is an unresolved and perhaps unresolvable question as to whether he ever experienced a relationship.
Many of his letters are filled with expressions of affection, but it is never been shown conclusively that any of these expressions were acted out.
James enjoyed socializing with his many friends and acquaintances, but he seems to have maintained a certain distance from other people. He settled first in a London apartment and then, from on, in Lamb House, a historic residence in Rye, East Sussex.
He revisited America on several occasions, most notably in James suffered a stroke in London on December 2,and died three months later. 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.
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 Whartonwho 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. Much of The Portrait of a Lady was written while he lived in Venicea 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 decadenceas 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 inhe 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 Hardywriters of melodrama—either humorous or pessimistic, nor secretaries of society like Balzac, nor prophets like Tolstoy: They do not indict society for these situations: They do not even blame God for allowing them: 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 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 Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture. Definitions of "Science Fiction" And what do we even mean by "science fiction" anyway? In one sense, the first article to define the field was published over years ago, before the field was widely ackonwledged to exist: New Species of Literature "We learn that Mr.
R. A. Locke, the ingenious author of the late 'Moon Story' or 'Astronomical Hoax,' is putting on the stocks the frame of a new.
Henry James, OM (April 15, – February 28, ), was one of the greatest prose writers in American literature. Enormously prolific, James authored 22 novels, hundreds of short stories, and dozens of volumes of non-fiction including biographies, travel writing, art .
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