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

It wouldn't be the first time she had seen herself obliged to accept with smothered irony other people's interpretation of her conduct. She often ended by giving up to them --it seemed really the way to live --the version that met their convenience.

Living as he now lived was like reading a good book in a poor translation.

My choice is the old world ? my choice, my need, my life.

Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!

Print it as it stands ? beautifully.

She had fortunately always her appetite for news. The pure flame of the disinterested burned in her cave of treasures as a lamp in a Byzantine vault.

If he was not personally loud, however, he was deep, and during these closing days of the Roman May he knew a complacency that matched with slow irregular walks under the pines of the Villa Borghese, among the small sweet meadow-flowers and the mossy marbles.

Is that another sort of joke? asked the old man. You've no excuse for being bored anywhere. When I was your age I had never heard of such a thing.

It is no wonder he wins every game. He has never done a thing in his life except play games

Italy, all the same, had spoiled a great many people; he was even fatuous enough to believe at times that he himself might have been a better man if he had spent less of his life there.

London doesn't love the latent or the lurking, has neither time, nor taste, nor sense for anything less discernible than the red flag in front of the steam-roller. It wants cash over the counter and letters ten feet high.

My father ain't in Europe; my father's in a better place than Europe. Winterbourne imagined for a moment that this was the manner in which the child had been taught to intimate that Mr. Miller had been removed to the sphere of celestial reward. But Randolph immediately added, My father's in Schenectady.

Of his own death: So here it is at last, the distinguished thing.

Quote of the day: Quote of the day: We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

She had had a real fright but had fallen back to earth. The odd thing was that in her fall her fear too had been dashed down and broken. It was gone.

If I don?t do something on the grand scale, it is that my genius is altogether imitative, and that I have nor recently encountered any very striking models of grandeur.

Isabel took a drive alone that afternoon; she wished to be far away, under the sky, where she could descend from her carriage and tread upon the daisies. She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence, for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe. She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright; she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places, where it?s very modern quality detached itself and grew objective, so that as she sat in a sun-warmed angle on a winter's day, or stood in a moldy church to which no one came, she could almost smile at it and think of its smallness. Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where people had suffered. This was what came to her in the starved churches, where the marble columns, transferred from pagan ruins, seemed to offer her a companionship in endurance and the musty incense to be a compound of long-unanswered prayers. There was no gentler nor less consistent heretic than Isabel; the firmest of worshippers, gazing at dark altar-pictures or clustered candles, could not have felt more intimately the suggestiveness of these objects nor have been more liable at such moments to a spiritual visitation.

It often seemed to her that she thought too much about herself, you could have made her blush any day of the year, by telling her she was selfish. She was always planning out her own development, desiring her own perfection, observing her own progress. Her nature had for her own imagination a certain garden-like quality, a suggestion of perfume and murmuring bows, of shady bowers and of lengthening vistas, which made her feel that introspection was, after all, an exercise in the open air, and that a visit to the recesses of one?s mind was harmless when one returned from it with a lapful of roses.

It's a complex fate, being an American, and one of the responsibilities it entails is fighting against a superstitious valuation of Europe.

London is on the whole the most possible form of life.

My first impulse is always to behave, about everything, as if I feared complications. But I don't fear them? I really like them. They're quite my element.

Oh, said Catherine, with some eagerness, it doesn't take long to like a person?when once you begin.

Really, universally, relations stop nowhere, and the exquisite problem of the artist is eternally but to draw, by a geometry of his own, the circle within which they shall happily appear to do so.

She had never yet encountered a personage so exotic, and she always felt more at ease in the presence of anything strange. It was the usual things of life that filled her with silent rage; which was natural enough inasmuch as, to her vision, almost everything that was usual was inqiuitous.

I still, in presence of life... have reactions ? as many as possible... It's, I suppose, because I am that queer monster, the artist, an obstinate finality, an inexhaustible sensibility. Hence the reactions ? appearances, memories, many things, go on playing upon it with consequences that I note and "enjoy" (grim word!) noting. It all takes doing ? and I do. I believe I shall do yet again ? it is still an act of life.

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