Thursday, 29 June 2023

Henry James, The Europeans

Eugenia and Felix are the eponymous europeans in Henry James' novel, siblings born in France and Vienna, but Americans, nonetheless. Europe is a dangerous spice. Eugenia and Felix stir things up when they go to visit their American cousins, Charlotte, Gertrude and Clifford in New England at the beginning of the twentieth century..

Henry James liked to deal with the crème de la leisurely crème, in New England, whence he came, or Old England, which he occupied for many years in his comfortable observer role. 

Comfortable observer is no longer comfortable.  I read Henry James when I want to be in observer mode. With pleasure and unease. As if I'm being judged by a clamorous generation in its thereness, nowness, and grievance.

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