The Daily Henry James: A Year of Quotes from the Work of the Master

University of Chicago Press
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A strange and delightful memento of one of the most lasting literary voices of all time, The Daily Henry James is a little book from a great mind. First published with James’s approval in 1911 as the ultimate token of fandom—a limited edition quote-of-the-day collection titled The Henry James Year Book—this new edition is a gift across time, arriving as we mark the centenary of his death. Drawing on the Master’s novels, essays, reviews, plays, criticism, and travelogues, The Daily Henry James offers a series of impressions (for if not of impressions, of what was James fond?) to carry us through the year.

From the deepest longings of Isabel Archer to James’s insights in The Art of Fiction, longer seasonal quotes introduce each month, while concise bits of wisdom and whimsy mark each day. To take but one example: Isabel, in a quote from The Portrait of a Lady for September 30, muses, “She gave an envious thought to the happier lot of men, who are always free to plunge into the healing waters of action.” Featuring a new foreword by James biographer Michael Gorra as well as the original introductions by James and his good friend William Dean Howells, this long-forgotten perennial calendar will be an essential bibelot for James’s most ardent devotees and newest converts alike, a treasure to be cherished daily, across all seasons, for years, for ages to come.
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About the author

Henry James (1843–1916) is among the most widely read and beloved American writers. Among his best-known works are the novels The Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors, The Aspern Papers, and The Turn of the Screw. Among his many nonfiction works are The Art of Criticism and The Art of the Novel, both available from the University of Chicago Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 12, 2016
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780226408682
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / American / General
Literary Collections / General
Literary Criticism / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Chapter I

On a brilliant day in May, in the year 1868, a gentleman was reclining at his ease on the great circular divan which at that period occupied the centre of the Salon Carré, in the Museum of the Louvre. This commodious ottoman has since been removed, to the extreme regret of all weak-kneed lovers of the fine arts, but the gentleman in question had taken serene possession of its softest spot, and, with his head thrown back and his legs outstretched, was staring at Murillo's beautiful moon-borne Madonna in profound enjoyment of his posture. He had removed his hat, and flung down beside him a little red guide-book and an opera-glass. The day was warm; he was heated with walking, and he repeatedly passed his handkerchief over his forehead, with a somewhat wearied gesture. And yet he was evidently not a man to whom fatigue was familiar; long, lean, and muscular, he suggested the sort of vigor that is commonly known as "toughness." But his exertions on this particular day had been of an unwonted sort, and he had performed great physical feats which left him less jaded than his tranquil stroll through the Louvre. He had looked out all the pictures to which an asterisk was affixed in those formidable pages of fine print in his Bädeker; his attention had been strained and his eyes dazzled, and he had sat down with an æsthetic headache. He had looked, moreover, not only at all the pictures, but at all the copies that were going forward around them, in the hands of those innumerable young women in irreproachable toilets who devote themselves, in France, to the propagation of masterpieces, and if the truth must be told, he had often admired the copy much more than the original. His physiognomy would have sufficiently indicated that he was a shrewd and capable fellow, and in truth he had often sat up all night over a bristling bundle of accounts, and heard the cock crow without a yawn. But Raphael and Titian and Rubens were a new kind of arithmetic, and they inspired our friend, for the first time in his life, with a vague self-mistrust.
I

"Olive will come down in about ten minutes; she told me to tell you that. About ten; that is exactly like Olive. Neither five nor fifteen, and yet not ten exactly, but either nine or eleven. She didn't tell me to say she was glad to see you, because she doesn't know whether she is or not, and she wouldn't for the world expose herself to telling a fib. She is very honest, is Olive Chancellor; she is full of rectitude. Nobody tells fibs in Boston; I don't know what to make of them all. Well, I am very glad to see you, at any rate."

These words were spoken with much volubility by a fair, plump, smiling woman who entered a narrow drawing-room in which a visitor, kept waiting for a few moments, was already absorbed in a book. The gentleman had not even needed to sit down to become interested: apparently he had taken up the volume from a table as soon as he came in, and, standing there, after a single glance round the apartment, had lost himself in its pages. He threw it down at the approach of Mrs. Luna, laughed, shook hands with her, and said in answer to her last remark, "You imply that you do tell fibs. Perhaps that is one."

"Oh no; there is nothing wonderful in my being glad to see you," Mrs. Luna rejoined, "when I tell you that I have been three long weeks in this unprevaricating city."

"That has an unflattering sound for me," said the young man. "I pretend not to prevaricate."

"Dear me, what's the good of being a Southerner?" the lady asked. "Olive told me to tell you she hoped you will stay to dinner. And if she said it, she does really hope it. She is willing to risk that."
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