The American Scene (Paperback) - James, Henry/ Sears, John F. (EDT)

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Product Overview


Publisher Penguin Group USA
Mfg Part# 9780140434163
SKU 213454850
Format Paperback
ISBN10 014043416X
Release Date 1/9/2012
Author Info
Henry James
Henry James was born into a wealthy Irish-American family who settled mainly in New York City's Greenwich Village and in Albany, New York, but lived and traveled extensively in Europe while Henry was growing up. Educated at a variety of schools in the U.S. and abroad, Henry spent a year at Harvard Law School, which he loathed, and used his time haunting the library and attending James Russell Lowell's lectures at Harvard College. Soon after, he began publishing short stories and reviews. When he was in his late teens, he spent much of his time on his own in Europe--chiefly England, France, and (his favorite) Italy--and, as he approached his 30s he became a virtual resident of Europe, returning to the U.S. only for brief periods. James became increasingly successful, wealthy, and respected as a writer of fiction and as a critic; his brilliantly insightful prefaces to his novels have influenced many writers. His attempts to write plays were all sad failures: To be a successful dramatist was a lifelong dream for James, but he seemed to lack the ability to dramatize action anywhere but on the printed page. In 1896 he settled at Lamb House, in Sussex, where he lived until his death in 1916. Reactions to James's work range from scorn and impatience (H. G. Wells called him "a hippopotamus resolved at any cost...upon picking up a pea") to reverence. Despite his increasing mannered and challenging style, James's work endures as great literature because of his humane sensibility, his insight into American and European culture, his moral clarity, his delicate wit, and the lucid subtlety of his language.
From the Publisher
Editors Note Reprint of the Harper & Bros. edition of 1907 (cited in BCL3 ). Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Annotation After living abroad for 20 years, Henry James returned to his native America and travelled down the East Coast from Boston to Florida. In this journal, he describes his feelings on rediscovering the New York of his childhood (and his horror at the ugliness of the tall buildings), and witnessing the results of the growth of modern commercial America (in particular his horror at the way money rules American life). He muses on Thoreau, Hawthorne and Emerson; in Washington, he finds a cityscape devoid of spiritual symbols; in Richmond, thoughts of the Civil War haunt him. Throughout, his rotund prose is a highly serviceable vehicle for his musings on a world that has become alien in many ways, but for which he still retains a great fondness--and whose landscape never fails to move him.
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0416
Publisher Penguin Books
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