October: Reading Henry James
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I'm hoping to join in - I've got copies of The Aspern Papers, The Ambassadors and Washington Square that had been squirrelled all over the house that haven't been read yet. (I really must organise my classics more carefully!)
I'll probably start with The Ambassadors and then hopefully squeeze in The Aspern Papers. Once I've finished my book group reads!
I'll probably have to pass on James since I'm reading a couple of doorstops this month. I don't want to strain my brain too much!
The Master by Colm Toibin is a fictional account of James - pretty interesting read if anyone is interested in that.
I'm listening to The Wings of the Dove courtesy of Librivox and it's hard work. I'm tempted to give up on Mr James.
I ordered Portrait of a Lady last night. My only James so far has been Washington Square.
If anyone's interested in Toibin's The Master, mentioned by Teelgee above, it's available in paperback at Bookcloseouts.com. for $4.99.
It will be a hectic month for me, but I'm going to try to fit in The Europeans (if I can find my copy).
I'd love to participate but I'm not sure I'll have time. Maybe I can find a copy of Daisy Miller--it's short. For those of you trying to decide which James to read, I've found that some of his books are easier than others. I think his later stuff can be impenetrable. I loved, loved, loved Portrait of a Lady, and Washington Square was good too. I also liked Turn of the Screw, but it's a bit more difficult. However, there are lots of online resources on that one to help you along. Also, it makes a good creepy Halloween read.
SocialPages--I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with Wings of a Dove. I was looking forward to that one because I really love the movie (it's beautiful even if just to watch the costumes and sets).
Hmm, maybe I'll give Turn of the Screw a run. Sounds like a good October read.
I'm going to see an operatice version of The Turn of the Screw soon. It will be interesting to see how the story is interpreted.
I'm going to join in this time - I'm excited about James! I think I might go with The Ambassadors, which is one of his later works, but one that he himself considered his most "perfect" work. I also have Washington Square, which I've never read.
If anyone finds it, I always enjoyed The Princess Cassamassima, which I found quite readable (even in college), and concerns a leftist plot and terrorism. And The American is quite good, too - a naive American experiencing Europe for the first time. (Somewhat similar to Portrait of a Lady, but a bit more of a comedy of manners).
My Henry James plan is (and I am very excited to be reading him this month because I have never read him) to read: The Bostonians, The Great Short Novels of Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square and the only one I own: The Beast in the Jungle and Other Stories. I am hoping to read all, but some will do if not.
All but the latter are on hold at the library and The Bostonians, which I will begin with is in transit at this moment. Whoo Hoo!~!
#12 Nickelini, I've decided to persevere with The Wings of the Dove after checking out the entry in 1001 Books to Read Before You Die as it has such an interesting plot. I didn't know it was made into a movie so I will check that out too.
Time allowing, I'll read The Europeans too as I just found an old, yellowing Penguin edition in my bookcase that I'd forgotten I had.
I'm going to be rereading The Turn of the Screw, which I first read for a college class a few years ago. I have the Norton Critical Edition, and like a good former English major I'm looking forward to reading some of the essays about it too. If I have enough time this month, I'll try a second book, but I don't know what yet. I'll be looking at everyone's recommendations! :-)
>21 thanks for the recommendations. Actually, I've planned to read a few classic horror stories for the month of October, and Turn of the Screw will be one of those as well. But as Portrait of a Lady seems to be so highly recommended, I'm making a note to pick it up when I go to the library on Monday.
While awaiting The Bostonians from the library I read, The Beast in the Jungle and Other Stories by Henry James this afternoon. I must say that at this point, he is not a favorite of mine. Hopefully that will change with The Bostonians. And we can't like them all anyway, but we can expose ourselves to most of them. These were fairly strange stories. What was evident to me was not to the author and vice versa. But I did make it through them and I am glad I did because now I can get rid of it and won't have to read this one ever again because it was quite "beastly".
Daisy Miller by Henry James. A short read. Daisy is not ruled by the conventions of American Society. Winterbourne, another American is attracted to her, not just because she is beautiful, but because of her independence of spirit which leads to tragedy.
Just finished The Europeans which is a good, short, straightforward read compared to some of his later work.
Eugenia and her brother Felix leave their sophisticated life in Europe to visit their Bostonian cousins, the Wentworths, who are rich but live a quiet, frugal life.
They visit America with a view to making a wealthy marriage. A lovely comedy of manners.
My next Henry James novel will be Portrait of a Lady which also fits into my 'P' category for the Alphabet Challenges Group.
>29 You're moving through them so quickly, er60! I'm still struggling with The Golden Bowl, finding it a bit dense.
#30. Bionic? I wish! I could do with a new set of legs:-)
#30. Sense! Me! No! It just happened that Life and Fate came up for the Group Read. Fate is a mysterious thing!
#31. I have The Golden Bowl to read next. This is a reread for me - don't remember much about it. If your struggling Christina, maybe I will too!
An interesting blog by a serious James fan: http://www.readinghenryjames.com/
#34 Thanks for the link - that really is one seriously obsessed James fan.
I have started The Europeans and can say it is much easier going. It's very short and I am enjoying it. I think I will have to tackle James chronologically as the early works seem to be more accessible than the later ones.
>36 I just bought Daisy Miller for 25 cents in a charity shop and I am looking forward to reading it after reading your review. It had the most ridiculous cover that I almost missed it amongst all the other books.
Socialpages, folks must giving away a lot of Daisy Miller! I just bought a lovely copy from a local library sale for $3 (in a slipcase with art by Whistler), which I'm going to settle in with it tonight. I'll take up Portrait of a Lady later.
Not as much, Valerie. I think I was just slow to warm up to his characters. I'm enjoying it now! :)
That's great Christina! I shall now look forward more to reading it.
Finished Daisy Miller yesterday and am now reading a comparison "mashup" of the 1879 and 1909 texts. I read the 1879 version. The comparison can be found here under the "longer works" heading http://www2.newpaltz.edu/~hathaway/
James also turned his novella into a play in 1883. It was never produced in his life time, which may be just as well since he apparently tacked on a "happy" ending for the stage. http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=atla;cc=atla;rgn=...
Finished The Europeans today. I enjoyed it as a change of pace from my recent reading. Felix is utterly delightful and charming.
Christina, you are so right. It is very dense. James appears to be in love with the English language. Took some close reading to understand what he was saying in the first part of the book. Now reading second part and his writing is much clearer and I can read a bit faster.
I have just finished The Europeans and Daisy Miller and discovered that I really enjoy the early works of Henry James. I like the way you think you understand James' characters and then just as you are finishing the book you have to reconsider all your opinions.
#42 I shudder at the thought of Daisy Miller with a happy ending.
The Golden Bowl by Henry James. I found this a dense and difficult read especially the first few chapters, but it got a bit easier after that. This was his last novel. I prefer his earlier works because they are so much easier to understand and enjoy.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I listened to Susannah York reading this very dramatic ghost story.
Shall read The American next.
The American. Another good story by James reflecting on the New World and the Old World.
First of all Talbin, may I say that I enjoyed your review of The Ambassadors and may read it in the future.
Just read What Maisie Knew. Divorce and adultery as seen through the eyes of a child. Fairly dense but fascinating.
I am finishing off this month's author with his non-fiction travel book A Little Tour in France which I am enjoying so far.
Just finished A Little Tour of France. Quite illuminating but I would like to savour it more slowly at some future date, and look up some of the historical bits and maybe pictures of various buildings on the net.
I had good intentions, but failed miserably to read any James this month! Oh well.
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