Tag Archives: james-legacy

Oscar Wilde's Tomb

The Importance of Being Squeaky Clean

Famously Wilde, the gay writer best known for witty plays like The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband, as well as the fittingly age-defying novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray died in 1900. While Oscar Wilde’s life and work, then, falls outside the purview of the 20th Century Unlimited, his influence and considerable […]


The Art of Consciousness

Incidentally, a brief scene from David Lodge’s novel about Henry James doubles as a pithy introduction to Colm Tóibín’s The Master. (And, really, since I excerpted Tóibín in Monday’s entry on Author, Author, it only seems fair to do the contrary here.) As a free-ranging discussion turns to Catholicism, James confides in his good friend […]


Tragedy or Comedy?

In the fall of 2003, on delivering the manuscript for his own fictionalized portrait of Henry James, the English novelist David Lodge learned that the writer Colm Tóibín would beat him to the punch. It turned out to be just the first unattended banana peel in a real-life literary farce. The minor tragedy of the […]


The Enmity and the Ecstasy

In early January 1903, The New York Times deemed the serialization of a new James novel so noteworthy as to merit an article (PDF) about another article that itself heralded the debut of that serialization. Both the serialization and the commentary ran in the North American Review. As The Times reported, William Dean Howells, the […]


Friday Fun: The Woollett Question

Shortly after docking in Liverpool, The Ambassadors‘s Lambert Strether meets the cordial American expatriate Maria Gostrey, who, on hearing of his mission, inquires as to the nature of the industry that calls Chad Newsome back to Woollett, Massachusetts; Strether declines to name it. The little manufactured item is at once, he suggests, too “familiar, too […]


Adaptable: Henry James

During his lifetime, Henry James wrote enough novels and short stories to fill a 23-volume “artistic autobiography” with selected work, but in his literary afterlife, he’s embraced another role: fictional character. As of 2010, he’d appeared in novels no fewer than 11 times, according to Reader’s Almanac, the Library of the America’s blog. (Incidentally, the […]