On Henry James – She feels in italics…
“James contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic and contain a representation of life that is recognisable to its readers. Good novels, to James, show life in action and are, most importantly, interesting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to narrative fiction. An extraordinarily productive writer, in addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel, biography, autobiography, and criticism, and wrote plays, some of which were performed during his lifetime, though with limited success when compared to the success of his novels. James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912 and 1916.” – Henry James – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://goo.gl/67fA3m
“If you are new to the writings of Henry James you may well ask “Where do I begin?” – with some twenty novels (depending on how you count), 112 short stories (‘tales’) and an enormous amount of literary and art criticism and travel writing to choose from, it is indeed a daunting prospect. On top of this you may feel, as you are currently using the world wide web, that the electronic medium itself must be factored into the equation: do you want to read here or find a printed book?” – the Ladder : a Henry James website – http://goo.gl/1M1zBR
“If you are already familiar with ‘postmodern’ literature – that is, broadly, literature about itself and the act of reading, for example the work of Italo Calvino or Samuel Beckett – you might like to start with another late tale The story in it which poses and answers the question: what sort of adventure would make an interesting story. Well, those are four different suggestions for short stories to tackle if you are completely new to James’s fiction. If and when you want to get to grips with something a bit longer, my suggestions are to try one of the humorous longer tales, either The birthplace, about the custodian of a well-known tourist attraction, or The papers, which still has lots to tell us about ‘being in the newspapers’. Finally, when you want to move up to something of novel length, I cannot do better than recommend the novel of James’s which I read first, albeit I was indulging in a (printed) paperback: The spoils of Poynton.” – the Ladder : a Henry James website – http://goo.gl/6gonc4
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