henry james Quotes

Henry James chews more than he bites off.

- Mrs. Henry Adams

Henry James said there isn't any difference between "the English novel" and "the American novel" since there are only two kinds of novels at all, the good and the bad.

- Eudora Welty, On Writing

His indirect way of approaching a character or an action, striving to realize it by surrounding rather than invading it, is ideally suited to the indefinite and suggestive presentation of a ghost story.(introduction to "Sir Edmund Orme" by Henry James)

- Herbert A. Wise, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

Cats and monkeys - monkeys and cats - all human life is there!

- Henry James, The Madonna of the Future by Henry James, Fiction, Literary, Alternative History

You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they’ve taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can’t understand why people read them and why they are taught. The library, on the other hand, has no biases. The information is all there for you to interpret. You don’t have someone telling you what to think. You discover it for yourself.

- Ray Bradbury

I have just read a long novel by Henry James. Much of it made me think of the priest condemned for a long space to confess nuns.

- W.B. Yeats

You can't learn to write in college. It's a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don't. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don't want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who's the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they've taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can't understand why people read them and why they are taught. The library, on the other hand, has no biases. The information is all there for you to interpret. You don't have someone telling you what to think. You discover it for yourself.

- Ray Bradbury

The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.

- Henry James

Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong; beauty enchanting, but rare; goodness very apt to be weak; folly very apt to be defiant; wickedness to carry the day; imbeciles to be in great places, people of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no narrow illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of the night; we wake up to it, forever and ever; and we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.

- Henry James, Theory of Fiction: Henry James

But in this case,” he continues, tracing the line of the plasterwork with one finger, “I feel that there is one cliché that sums up my position so admirably that it would be pure egotism to attempt a more interesting periphrasis. Plain speaking, therefore, there is to be.“There is undoubtedly a strong possibility, notwithstanding the vagaries of contingency and misfortune, that my son mighthave fallen—or might, we could say, have voluntarily jumped, in accordance with the ethical codes with which he has been brought up—for a play you have made with some success, although, as I am persuaded you would concede, very little originality.”Plain speaking if you’re Henry James, perhaps.

- Deborah Meyler, The Bookstore

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.