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Tales of Henry James by Henry James
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Tales of Henry James (edition 2002)

by Henry James, Christof Wegelin (Editor), Henry B. Wonham (Editor)

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147281,427 (4.11)None
Member:ReadHanded
Title:Tales of Henry James
Authors:Henry James
Other authors:Christof Wegelin (Editor), Henry B. Wonham (Editor)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2002), Edition: Second Edition, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:college, fiction, classic, short stories, Europe

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Tales of Henry James (Norton Critical Edition) by Henry James

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This is an intelligent and varied selection of the tales (or short stories) of Henry James, and it gives ample evidence as to why James is a canonical author. I enjoyed the selections, as well, as I had never read "The Pupil," and found its exploration of a sensitive, morally upright, and precocious young boy who, along with his tutor, is manipulated by his fraudulent con artist parents, immensely moving and convincing. There are other masterpieces as well: "Daisy Miller," "The Jolly Corner," "The Aspern Papers," "Brooksmith," "In the Cage," and, above all, his late, great work, "The Beast in the Jungle." I came away from a re-reading of this story (and a new reading of "The Pupil") skeptical of more recent homoerotic readings of James' work. The tie between Pemberton and Morgan Moreen might have an element of the homoerotic, but it cannot be grasped or understood outside the other, predominant contexts of shame, embarrassment, and manipulation. As for "The Beast in the Jungle," the secret does not seem to me to be that John Marcher is a homosexual. He is a narcissistic and self-involved man who wishes for some "great doom" but who, ultimately, realizes he has missed the boat of life precisely because of his fixation with his mythic secret. Above all, it is a study of a narcissistic and selfish consciousness that drags down into its obsessions May Bartram, who here plays the role of one of James' famous "children of light" who are ground down by unfeeling, selfish, materialistic, self-seeking individuals. James, I think, entertained feelings of romantic friendship for men later on in his life, but his consciousness, at least in his fictions, is so complex and well-integrated that the homoerotic, such as it is, cannot be discussed or understood in a vacuum. These are tremendous stories by an author who champions the innocent, moral, conscientious, and imaginative against the worldly and selfish. That is James' dominant preoccupation, and it makes him a master in portraying children and outsider adults. ( )
  corinneblackmer | Oct 4, 2011 |
James is both delightful and maddening, especially when it comes to some of his later and least accessible stories. The convoluted language, though daunting at first, won me over, but the intense narcissism of many of the stories held me somewhat at bay. ( )
  amydross | Feb 14, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wegelin, ChristofEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wonham, Henry B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393977102, Paperback)

Nine of James’s most important tales, including (new to the second edition) "In the Cage," a tale that engages James’s complicated attitudes toward gender, class, and the rise of information technology.

"The Author on His Craft" again reprints James’s critical essay "The Art of Fiction" and related passages from his notebooks, including a new passage on "In the Cage." "Criticism" has been entirely updated and includes ten new essays by critics who during the last twenty-five years have helped to establish the lines of debate about James’s tales. An updated Selected Bibliography is also included.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:33 -0400)

Critical essays and excerpts from James' notebooks, letters, and prefaces accompany nine stories that deal with ghosts, tyranny, the impact of Europe on Americans, and social manipulation.

(summary from another edition)

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