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The Golden Bowl

By James, Henry

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Book Id: WPLBN0000700141
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 1.35 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: The Golden Bowl  
Author: James, Henry
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Literature & drama
Collections: Classic Literature Collection, DjVu Editions Classic Literature
Publication Date:
Publisher: Djvu Editions Classic Literature


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James, B. H. (n.d.). The Golden Bowl. Retrieved from

Excerpt: PREFACE; Among many matters thrown into relief by a refreshed acquaintance with ?The Golden Bowl? what perhaps most stands out for me is the still marked inveteracy of a certain indirect and oblique view of my presented action; unless indeed I make up my mind to call this mode of treatment, on the contrary, any superficial appearance notwithstanding, the very straightest and closest possible. I have already betrayed, as an accepted habit, and even to extravagance commented on, my preference for dealing with my subject matter, for ?seeing my story,? through the opportunity and the sensibility of some more or less detached, some not strictly involved, though thoroughly interested and intelligent, witness or reporter, some person who contributes to the case mainly a certain amount of criticism and interpretation of it. Again and again, on review, the shorter things in especial that I have gathered into this Series have ranged themselves not as my own impersonal account of the affair in hand, but as my account of somebody?s impression of it--the terms of this person?s access to it and estimate of it contributing thus by some fine little law to intensification of interest. The somebody is often, among my shorter tales I recognise, but an unnamed, unintroduced and (save by right of intrinsic wit) unwarranted participant, the impersonal author?s concrete deputy or delegate, a convenient substitute or apologist for the creative power otherwise so veiled and disembodied. My instinct appears repeatedly to have been that to arrive at the facts retailed and the figures introduced by the given help of some other conscious and confessed agent is essentially to find the whole business--that is, as I say, its effective interest--enriched by the way. I have in other words constantly inclined to the idea of the particular attaching case plus some near individual view of it; that nearness quite having thus to become an imagined observer?s, a projected, charmed painter?s or poet?s--however avowed the ?minor? quality in the latter--close and sensitive contact with it. Anything, in short, I now reflect, must always have seemed to me better--better for the process and the effect of representation, my irrepressible ideal--than the mere muffled majesty of irresponsible ?authorship.? Beset constantly with the sense that the painter of the picture or the chanter of the ballad (whatever we may call him) can never be responsible enough, and for every inch of his surface and note of his song, I track my uncontrollable footsteps, right and left, after the fact, while they take their quick turn, even on stealthiest tiptoe, toward the point of view that, within the compass, will give me most instead of least so answer for ...

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: PREFACE, iii -- Volume I 3 -- Book I 3 -- Chapter 1, 3 -- Chapter 2, 15 -- Chapter 3, 25 -- Chapter 4, 35 -- Chapter 5, 50 -- Chapter 6, 58 -- Book II 69 -- Chapter 1, 69 -- Chapter 2, 79 -- Chapter 3, 85 -- Chapter 4, 92 -- Chapter 5, 105 -- Chapter 6, 115 -- Chapter 7, 124 -- Book III 133 -- Chapter 1, 133 -- Chapter 2, 144 -- Chapter 3, 149 -- Chapter 4, 156 -- Chapter 5, 162 -- Chapter 6, 169


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