Download Henry James: A Literary Life by Kenneth Graham (auth.) PDF

By Kenneth Graham (auth.)

This accomplished account of the writing lifetime of Henry James goals at supplying a severe evaluate of all his vital writings, firmly set in contexts: that of James's sensible profession as a novelist in the US, England, and Europe; and that of the literary and highbrow weather of his time. through tracing the advanced improvement of his occupation less than such headings as 'American and Romantic', 'Victorian and Realist', 'Crisis and scan' and 'Master and Modernist', it offers a dynamic portrait, either actual and interpretative, of 1 of the best and so much prolific novelists within the language, whose many-sided occupation all started for the time of Thackeray and Dickens, and ended through ushering within the writings of Joyce and Woolf.

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3 The romantic tradition which partly shaped James's sensibility, and within which all his books, but the early ones in particular, were both conceived by him and read by his readers, was also given a particular direction in America through the enormously influential figure of Emerson. Between 1836 and the Civil War, and to a considerable extent beyond the war, Emerson shaped and spoke for the mental life of his times. No matter that James, in his occasional encounters with the sage of Concord, spoke of him with irony and even some disparagement.

The casting-off of what is past, what is inherited, and the dangers of such a rejection. The at best ambiguous quality of a life determined by any preordained principles other than those of renewal and revolution. The cult of the self-reliant individual, accompanied by the fear of isolation and emotional petrification. The need, therefore, to continue to cultivate the heart and the heart's language, often in community with others. The distrust of philosophic materialism, and the belief that reality, both for the individual and for all men, is fundamentally spiritual.

That the self has an organic connection with the world outside, and with its own roots in time, especially in childhood. The casting-off of what is past, what is inherited, and the dangers of such a rejection. The at best ambiguous quality of a life determined by any preordained principles other than those of renewal and revolution. The cult of the self-reliant individual, accompanied by the fear of isolation and emotional petrification. The need, therefore, to continue to cultivate the heart and the heart's language, often in community with others.

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