Monday, May 19, 2014

Reread: The Wings of the Dove (by Henry James)

Memory Reaction:

What has always stuck in my mind about this novel, which is possibly my favorite of his works, is two things. One, the majesty of the classic, discursive Henry James sentence. I always find it takes me a few paragraphs to get into the style, and then I love it. I use James sentences in lit classes all the time to make my students' jaws drop. (Especially the opening sentence, which I quoted below.) Two, the deep descriptions of minor psychological moments, which also seems very Jamesean to me. I think of James as a stylist, and as a writer who is decidedly Not For Everyone. But he is one of my absolute all-time favorites.I've also seen this movie a bunch of times. Not for a while though--I last owned it on VHS, and now I'm holding out for Blu-Ray.

Reread Reaction:

Still feel exactly the same way about James, his sentences, his plot, his characters, everything. I'd forgotten the denouement, since it's different from the movie's, so it was nicely suspenseful all over again. I dog eared so many pages this time around. The whole experience was, overall, immensely satisfying,

Previous Review:

I remembered my reaction fairly well!


She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him.

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