Henry James

Henry
James
1843
1916

Anglo-American Novelist, son of Henry James, Sr. and brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James

Author Quotes

Take the word for it of a man who has made his way inch by inch, and does not believe that we'll wake up to find our work done because we've lain all night a-dreaming of it; anything worth doing is devilish hard to do!

The finer natures were those that shone at the larger times.

The passion of love separated its victim terribly from everyone but the loved object.

There are certainly moments, said Chad, "when you seem to me too good to be true. Yet if you are true," he added, "that seems to be all that need concern me."

There's nothing so magnificent - for making others feel you - as to have no imagination.

To read between the lines was easier than to follow the text.

We give what we have.

Whatever question there may be of his [Thoreau's] talent, there can be none, I think, of his genius. It was a slim and crooked one; but it was eminently personal. He was imperfect, unfinished, inartistic; he was worse than provincial ? he was parochial; it is only at his best that he is readable.

You must come to Lockleigh again, said Miss Molyneux, very sweetly, to Isabel, ignoring this remark of Isabel's friend. Isabel looked into her quiet eyes a moment, and for that moment seemed to see in their grey depths the reflexion of everything she had rejected in rejecting Lord Warburton?the peace, the kindness, the honor, the possessions, a deep security and a great exclusion. She kissed Miss Molyneux and then she said: I'm afraid I can never come again.

Tell the boys to follow, to be faithful, to take me seriously.

The full, the monstrous demonstration that Tennyson was not Tennysonian.

The picture had no flourishes, but she liked its lowness of tone and the atmosphere of summer twilight that pervaded it. It spoke of the kind of personal issue that touched her most nearly; of the choice between objects, subjects, contacts?what might she call them??of a thin and those of a rich association; of a lonely, studious life in a lovely land; of an old sorrow that sometimes ached to-day; of a feeling of pride that was perhaps exaggerated, but that had an element of nobleness; of a care for beauty and perfection so natural and so cultivated together that the career appeared to stretch beneath it in the disposed vistas and with the ranges of steps and terraces and fountains of a formal Italian garden?allowing only for arid places freshened by the natural dews of a quaint half-anxious, half-helpless fatherhood.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

They are a highly compelling sector, but their Achilles heel is they're largely dependent on the Bell companies. Line growth is what we look at. And the strike raises another yellow flag in minds of investors.

To say that she had a book is to say that her solitude did not press upon her; for her love of knowledge had a fertilizing quality and her imagination was strong. There was at this time, however, a want of lightness in her situation, which the arrival of an unexpected visitor did much to dispel.

We haven't gone head to head this year, but on paper [Penn State] looks just as capable as we are to win the championship.

When I am wicked I am in high spirits.

You must save what you can of your life; you mustn't lose it all simply because you've lost a part.

Thank goodness you're a failure-- it's why I so distinguish you! Anything else to-day is too hideous. Look about you--look at the successes. Would you BE one, on your honor?

The girl had a certain nobleness of imagination, which rendered her a good many services and played her a great many tricks. She spent half her time in thinking of beauty, bravery, magnanimity; she had a fixed determination to regard the world as a place of brightness, of free expansion, of irresistible action, she thought it would be detestable to be afraid or ashamed. She had an infinite hope that she would never do anything wrong. She had resented so strongly, after discovering them, her mere errors of feeling.

The place, with its gray sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theater after the performance--all strewn with crumpled playbills.

There are few things more exciting to me, in short, than a psychological reason.

They are hopelessly vulgar. Whether or not being hopelessly vulgar is being 'bad' is a question for the metaphysicians. They are bad enough to dislike, at any rate; and for this short life that is quite enough.

To see deep difficulty braved is at any time, for the really addicted artist, to feel almost even as a pang the beautiful incentive, and to feel it verily in such sort as to wish the danger intensified. The difficulty most worth tackling can only be for him, in these conditions, the greatest the case permits of.

We must grant the artist his subject, his idea, what the French call his donn‚e; our criticism is applied only to what he makes of it. Naturally I do not mean that we are bound to like it or find it interesting: in case we do not our course is perfectly simple ? to let it alone. We may believe that of a certain idea even the most sincere novelist can make nothing at all, and the event may perfectly justify our belief; but the failure will have been a failure to execute, and it is in the execution that the fatal weakness is recorded. If we pretend to respect the artist at all we must allow him his freedom of choice, in the face, in particular cases, of innumerable presumptions that the choice will not fructify. Art derives a considerable part of its beneficial exercise from flying in the face of presumptions, and some of the most interesting experiments of which it is capable are hidden in the bosom of common things.

Author Picture
First Name
Henry
Last Name
James
Birth Date
1843
Death Date
1916
Bio

Anglo-American Novelist, son of Henry James, Sr. and brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James