Happy early birthday to Henry James

“Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.”

— Henry James

Food for thought as we get closer to the anniversary of Henry James’ birth on April 15th.

James (1843 – 1916) – the brother of the father of psychology, William James – was a American-born novelist who wrote primarily from the characters’ view. His ability to draw so deeply from his characters allowed him to produce what I always thought was one of the best gothic horror stories, The Turn of the Screw.

Of course, that was early in his career and he was quite a prolific writer. He firmly believed that novels needed to be realistic enough that readers could recognize it as plausible. I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed all of his writing, but even in the novels that I wasn’t quite enamored of, I was always drawn in.

“Live all you can — it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?.. What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that…The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.. Live!”

from The Awkward Age





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