The Literary Criticism Of Henry James
The book highlights very lucidly and cogently the usually neglected aspects of Henry James i.e., his critical achievement. ?At the time of La Harpe?, writers Flaubert, ?They (the critics) were grammarians, at the time of St. Beuve and of Taine, they are histortans. When will they be artists, only artist, but really artist?? Henry James stood in the presence of Flaubert as a young man and we can say that he has supplied in answer by writing Notes on Novelist, or rather, by his whole criticism. A tune reader passionately interested in arts of literature will naturally feel drawn towards James? productions, both novels as well as criticism. Art for James, as for F.R. Leavis is not only a perfection of form. Leavis defends novels and novelists in James?s manner: moral concern, respect for life, serious criticism of manners and morals. James considered Flaubert most conspicious of ?the faithless? because he was supposed to have listened at least to the ?chamber of the soul?. This would have floated Flaubert on a deeper tide. James says that Whitman?s claim that he signs ?the Idea of all? is the flashy imitation of ideas which turns into medley of extravagances and commonplaces. Although James failed to achieve success as a dramatist he himself once said that the theatre had given him ?a mastery of fundamentals statement?. He says that English novelists have vast experiences of the positive kind. James insists that ?criticism in the nobler sense of the world is for me, enjoyment,? that the critical principle is ?the appreciative, the real gustatory.?
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