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Henry James and His American Masterpiece

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Literary critic Michael Gorra discusses his biography of Henry James told through the lens of his greatest novel, Portrait of a Lady. In Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece tells how Portrait of a Lady—the scandalous story of the expatriate American heiress Isabel Archer—came to be written in the first place, sheds new light on James’s family, the European literary circles in which he made his name.

Guests:

Michael Gorra
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Comments [5]

David

I believe Leonard meant to say John Brown's raid, not James Brown's raid. The Godfather of Soul wouldn't have been a free man back then to do that.

Sep. 06 2012 05:29 PM
David

jgarbuz from Queens, you wrote: "Ah, reading fictional novels other than the Bible is a waste of time and money. The Bible is the only long piece of fiction a family will ever need to read."

I disagree. The Lord of the Rings is a much more interesting long piece of fiction for an adult to read than the fictional Bible.

Sep. 06 2012 05:19 PM
David

I consider Henry James to be one of the two greatest American novelists—the other being William Faulkner. But I would say James's The Ambassadors is his greatest novel. (I haven't read The Golden Bowl yet, so I might change my mind. I have read all of his other middle and late period novels, including On the Wings of the Dove.)

Sep. 06 2012 05:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ah, reading fictional novels other than the Bible is a waste of time and money. The Bible is the only long piece of fiction a family will ever need to read.

Sep. 06 2012 12:59 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Lenny, let the guest answer the questions! Your audience knows how smart you are!

Sep. 06 2012 12:55 PM

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