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

I'm glad you like adverbs ? I adore them; they are the only qualifications I really much respect.

It has been my fate, and one's fate one accepts. It's a dreadful thing to have to say, in so wicked a world.

It was the abyss of human illusion that was the real, the tideless deep.

Life is a predicament which precedes death.

Money's a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet.

Not to give away the woman one loved, but to back her up in her mistakes -- once they had gone a certain length -- that was perhaps chief among the inevitabilities of the abjection of love.

Our relation, all round, exists--it's a reality, and a very good one; we're mixed up, so to speak, and it's too late to change it. We must live IN it and with it

She had a new feeling, the feeling of danger; on which a new remedy rose to meet it, the idea of an inner self or, in other words, of concealment.

She ordered a cup of tea, which proved excessively bad, and this gave her a sense that she was suffering in a romantic cause.

I would be an American. I would steep myself in America.

I'm yours for ever--for ever and ever. Here I stand; I'm as firm as a rock. If you'll only trust me, how little you'll be disappointed. Be mine as I am yours.

It has made me better loving you... it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can?t think of anything better. It?s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it?s a delightful story.

It was the air she wanted and the world she would now exclusively choose; the quiet chambers, nobly overwhelming, rich but slightly veiled, opened out round her and made her presently say 'If I could lose myself here!' There were people, people in plenty, but, admirably, no personal question. It was immense, outside, the personal question; but she had blissfully left it outside.

Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong: beauty enchanting but rare, goodness very apt to be weak, folly very apt to be defiant, wickedness to carry the day, imbeciles to be in great places, people of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of a night, we wake up to it again for ever and ever, we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.

Most of the time they can get the loan, but it's not 100 percent. The owner usually has to come up with 35 to 40 percent of the money.

Nothing exceeds the license occasionally taken by the imagination of very rigid people.

People can be in general pretty well trusted, of course--with the clock of their freedom ticking as loud as it seems to do here--to keep an eye on the fleeting hour.

She had always been fond of history, and here [in Rome] was history in the stones of the street and the atoms of the sunshine.

She sat with great intensity, giving the whole of her mind to it, and was capable of remaining for an hour almost as motionless as if she were before a photographer's lens. I could see she had been photographed often, but somehow the very habit that made her good for that purpose unfitted her for mine. At first I was extremely pleased with her lady-like air, and it was a satisfaction, on coming to follow her lines, to see how good they were and how far they could lead the pencil. But after a few times I began to find her too insurmountably stiff; do what I would with it my drawing looked like a photograph or a copy of a photograph. Her figure had no variety of expression -- she herself had no sense of variety. You may say that this was my business, was only a question of placing her. I placed her in every conceivable position, but she managed to obliterate their differences. She was always a lady certainly, and into the bargain was always the same lady. She was the real thing, but always the same thing. There were moments when I was oppressed by the serenity of her confidence that she WAS the real thing.

I would give all I possess to get out of myself; but somehow, at the end, I find myself so vastly more interesting than nine tenths of the people I meet.

In art economy is always beauty.

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, for our consideration and application of these things, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.

It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion.

Life's too short for chess.

Mr. Morris's poem is ushered into the world with a very florid birthday speech from the pen of the author of the too famous Poems and Ballads,?a circumstance, we apprehend, in no small degree prejudicial to its success. But we hasten to assure all persons whom the knowledge of Mr. Swinburne's enthusiasm may have led to mistrust the character of the work, that it has to our perception nothing in common with this gentleman's own productions, and that his article proves very little more than that his sympathies are wiser than his performance. If Mr. Morris's poem may be said to remind us of the manner of any other writer, it is simply of that of Chaucer; and to resemble Chaucer is a great safeguard against resembling Swinburne.

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