Book Review

Daily Henry James, continued, almost done

Continuing copying down the passages I underlined in my copy of The Daily Henry James (U Chicago Press) with occasional salubrious comments.

“October 7, The Wings of the Dove, 1903

” . . . the air was like a clap of hands. . . .”

“October 9, Eugene Pickering, 1874

“‘A man with as good a head and heart as yours has a very ample world within himself, and I’m no believer in art for art, nor in what’s called “life for life’s sake.” Nevertheless take your plunge, and come and tell me whether you’ve found the pearl of wisdom.'”

“October 13, The Wings of the Dove, 1903

“Certainly it came from the sweet taste of solitude, caught again and cherished for the hour; always a need of her nature, moreover, when things spoke to her with penetration. It was mostly in stillness that they spoke to her best; amid voices she lost the sense.”

The wonderful moment in the movie, Angel at My Table, when the psychologist says to Janet Frame, “If you don’t want to mingle [at a party], don’t!”

“October 18, The Golden Bowl, 1904

“‘Well she has been brave and bright,’ said Maggie.”

“October 21, French Poets and Novelists, 1878

“The personal optimism of most of us no romancer can confirm or dissipate, and our personal troubles, generally, place fiction of all kinds in an impertinent light.”

“October 25, Ivan Turgenieff, 1878

“Sanin’s history is weighted with the moral that salvation lies in being able, at a given moment, to turn on one’s will like a screw. If Mr. Turgenieff pays his tribute to the magic of sense he leaves us also eloquently reminded that soul in the long run claims her own.”



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