Transatlantic Sketches

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J.R. Osgood, 1875 - Europe - 401 pages

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Page 99 - I often think of the inevitable first sensations there of the " cultivated foreigner," let him be as stuffed with hostile prejudice as you please. He leaves the theatre an ardent Gallomaniac. This, he cries, is the civilized nation par excellence. Such art, such finish, such grace, such taste, such a marvellous exhibition of applied science, are the mark of a chosen people, and these delightful talents imply the existence of every virtue.
Page 17 - ... logic. Conservatism has the cathedrals, the colleges, the castles, the gardens, the traditions, the associations, the fine names, the better manners, the poetry. Dissent has the dusty brick chapels in provincial by-streets, the names out of Dickens, the uncertain tenure of the h, and the poor mens sibi conscia recti. Differences which in other countries are slight and varying, almost metaphysical, as one may say, are marked in England by a gulf. Nowhere does the degree of one's respectability...
Page 107 - Novel and drama alike betray an incredibly superficial perception of the moral side of life. It is not only that adultery is their only theme, but that the treatment of it is so singularly vicious and arid.
Page 144 - American, can never be an object of indifference; and it is emphatically "no end of a sensation" to pace in the shadow of this massive cincture of Rome. I have found myself, as I skirted its base, talking of trivial things, but never without a sudden reflection on the deplorable impermanence of first impressions. A twelvemonth ago the raw plank fences of a Boston suburb, inscribed with the virtues of healing drugs, bristled along my horizon : now I glance with idle eyes at a compacted antiquity in...
Page 231 - ... elevating amusement. Here is amusement for a thousand years, and as elevating certainly as mountains five miles high can make it. I expect to live to see the summit of Monte Rosa heated by steamtubes and adorned with a hotel setting three tables d'hote a day.
Page 7 - If the Atlantic voyage be counted, as it certainly may, even with the ocean in a fairly good humour, an emphatic zero in the sum of one's better experience, the American traveller arriving at this venerable town finds himself transported, without a sensible gradation , from the edge of the New World to the very heart of the Old.
Page 100 - Coquelin, must be the happiest of the immortals. To be read two hundred years after your death is something; but to be acted is better, at least when your name does not happen to be Shakespeare and your interpreter the great American (or, indeed, the great British) tragedian. Such powerful, natural, wholesome comedy as that of the creator of Sganarelle certainly never was conceived, and the actors I have just named give it its utmost force.
Page 232 - If the picturesque were banished from the face of the earth, I think the idea would survive in some typical American...
Page 234 - Swiss army ; or she ought to wear one of those little castellated crowns which form tl-e coiffure of ladies On monuments, and sit there before all men's eyes as the embodied genius of the city — the patroness of Berne. Like the piers of the arcades, she has a most fantastic thickness, and her superfluous fleshly substance could certainly furnish forth a dozen women on the American plan.
Page 147 - It is partly doubtless because their mighty outlines are still unsoftened that the aqueducts are so impressive. They seem the very source of the solitude in which they stand; they look like architectural spectres and loom through the light mists of their grassy desert, as you recede along the line, with the same insubstantial vastness as if they rose out of Egyptian sands.

About the author (1875)

Henry James, American novelist and literary critic, was born in 1843 in New York City. Psychologist-philosopher William James was his brother. By the age of 18, he had lived in France, England, Switzerland, Germany, and New England. In 1876, he moved to London, having decided to live abroad permanently. James was a prolific writer; his writings include 22 novels, 113 tales, 15 plays, approximately 10 books of criticism, and 7 travel books. His best-known works include Daisy Miller, The Turn of the Screw, The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, and The American Scene. His works of fiction are elegant and articulate looks at Victorian society; while primarily set in genteel society, James subtlely explores class issues, sexual repression, and psychological distress. Henry James died in 1916 in London. The James Memorial Stone in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, commemorates him.

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