As others read us: American fiction abroad; Henry James, part two
And yet James seems to criticize the Bellegarde for failing to respect this. Their word from their point of view they respected their wit and had done all the damage they said. Obviously a fact is not God he thinks that there are gods contrails and that compared with them that new money so much market a model a much better creature I think it's basically got about that in a way that all gods have been tempted away from their own kind. And you see one daughter had been tempted away so completely she goes into a nunnery one stunna been tempted away so completely that for no reason at all and a breach of family honor he gets himself killed in a duel with a ruler son. Which had nothing to do with the honor of the dog that he wouldn't very right to refuse that too. Yes he should send the last kid to beat him up so he was really living in the Empire after all. But I'm back to this question of materialism. You see two kinds of materialism and the approach of
Newman and the motives of the Bellegarde. Yes I think that either thing which shocks all Americans about Europe is the attitude of Europeans towards money as I think you see it even when even they are fraught and human is made money. He's made money then it's a proof of his manhood that he's been able to deal with life. Now if you do that is your attitude you can give the money away. And you are equally willing that other people should succeed to do your part and I think I've got money and power that means that you want as much of it as possible. You want other people to have a little spots. And that I was of course to sell that doctor. But they do not want to sell to somebody who is in the wrong kind of family. From their point of view they're much more materialistic and you want to use this that much shocks James in the belly. Wait don't you think one could add one saying that this sudden it strikes me that
we can say quite clearly that's either a pen or a god's money or an instrument of power. I don't think the American is unaware of it but he tends and especially in the imaginative image that James gives of the American also regarded as an instrument of freedom. So I want to set free to do that which is nearest to one so I was 12 and then got in religion is often the way. But on the other hand it's very difficult to get funding making to become a donkey which is always the ambition of a European. Yes to fight against his uncle was a science. Even his mother won't quite forgiven. Yeah but that is not the case in Europe. Well gentlemen after this brief dramatization of the American man do your comments not afraid I must conclude that James is not really criticizing Americans have such. Would you say Mr. Marker that James's attitude toward Americans grew to a degree more critical of him and later novels.
Yes but only in a sense that is criticism of other human beings who market it. You had great good fortune to develop a style that one reaches a peak ability to say those things that the rest of us take as criticism. I was already kind of criticism one could just as well however say that in the process of writing James deepened his sympathy or his charitable understanding of the human Rice by the same time I found or developed an ability to detect something one had what I call most unseemly really evil if you like that was which was not to have been expected. It's not easy to do. Could it look perhaps James himself put it in one thing. But she uses in
the American in a very light hearted way but which he uses very powerfully like Golden Ball where they attack in France and not a girl is talking to. Well I suppose is the American prince if we don't have an American prince. Adam the millionaire he said and you know you Omarosa go up like one of the lifts in a skyscraper like an elevator all over the top at once. Ours do not. And this father said he more like one of my family houses where there's tech cases of railroad winding interested and some of the steps missing. Do you often fall back as the very moment you think you're going to get to the top and so on. It's the same thing again the same inside but in the one case the little book he has if you like deep into sympathies or as I might almost as well say perfectionist stuff. Our chief interest here of course is to be in the ambassador seems to recall that figure
of the stairs occurring very true. I don't think that James any more than TS Eliot can get along without stairs and staircases of one sort or another. But I would imagine that one might put the theme of boiled down the ambassadors of the most well without data stairs or elevators. We find roughly middle aged tomorrow. In Europe on our forum roughly middle aged American woman who is about perhaps tomorrow is there and is to rescue a son of the woman by her previous marriage from probable sinfulness from probable even from probable desertion of whatever the American ideal might be in terms of his mother. I wouldn't say that it was the American ideal of the save as much as I do. It would be the ideal one might say rather. I love American vision of Mrs. Bell God love God would he be called Mrs. Bell God you might say so that we call him this is news.
She's pieces of Dragon develops many ways. Well he's an ambassador. He's come to bring the young man back. But if you find one way or another he finds a young man has become a magnificent creature. You find that he's improved almost out of recognition and improver such weight as a poor old fellow wants to be like him. And one of the five he's having for the affair with a magnificent woman and woman is rendered more beautiful than perhaps any other woman that James dealt with. Unless you think of Kate Croy film I have a personal affection in the wings of the Dove. But also in here if I like you American again but so differently I handle this young man is in love with him a Donde of DNA but is perhaps about to marry her daughter. He's not only in love with Madonna VNA he's living with it but is again about to marry the daughter. Strether nevertheless finds this out only gradually of course but in the process of finding it out he distinguishes the substance of what is called the she was relational. You no longer an
ambassador in Chad perhaps as the ambassador. Then the American forces if you want to call them that are brought in. They know God seen was our friend Newman is repeated from a distance. This is news never comes to Europe but she sends some of her children and connections to represent that which they do in a mechanical way and give James a great opportunity for comedy. I feel like there is a combat between But Donavan I and but on book and parse. You think comedy is there no satire of comedy I take it is easy it follows that it saved us from a good you like mentation just what satire is. You could call it satire just as well if you if you liked. But did glom a lot happens in the end Strether. Sees deeper and deeper into the virtue of this relation sees deeper and deeper into
the ravages of human life upon all human relations and ends up so to speak with no relation to talk. This is done if you like. Very simply by having the American young man he would have been wasting his time in Paris. For all his glory for all the beauty of perception for all his madness for all his style once more to figure them out of the world of this freak creation of James's this man of the world to fight it and the American is also going to happen. The Americans haven't found out how to be in either world in Europe. You might for all I know found out how in some other place perhaps even in New York. But that or I just found out what he found out in Europe and found it out with a special European style if you like. But he has also found out something which no doubt he always had and it rather cuts the value put upon the European. He's found out how to be a cat in action. One could say this young man this glorious image made by Europe and by America
now becomes the ruin of all the people in the novel for whom we have a deep something that I think is one way of putting the story it's not about a matter of me at all I want to say about Philip before we hear the dramatization. What do you feel the city of Massachusetts would represent to James is it a target of satire or is it a symbol for I remember it was a I would suppose it was that easy ready made money in one sense it's the mark of a little mill town. What was more important in many ways and cotton was at the time the name drop this book and perhaps he was remembering his friends a lot of them made all the money out of woe. Yes it represents American materialism in some sense more is whether I believe it is not I don't think it's a healthy rest. Just for materialism. Without which I would suppose no form of life could persist. James you're not a sympathetic with this healthy respect for. He would naturally have like more to be done with it just as the British laws would like more to be done with the North
Country. All of Manchester when Henry Adams went abroad in 859 he saw materialism for the first time in his life and the Black Country. And Great Britain and escaped and most times I remember it all and looked out they told him his relief. James's relief is the creation of figures these amazingly beautiful sensitive perceptive lucidly conscientious figures most men and women. And this book someone like that out of DNA wanted stream and also hero's father at either extreme. I would like to introduce Also they figure of Mrs. Newsome figure that James did not introduce into the model but we might introduce into discussion I notice her name is new so is there any connection between her name and Newman. The American I would hate to think there was any logical connection but that may well be some other connection and one should remember that looking into James's notebooks when he sets up the task of writing a novel you write down all sorts of names for the people. And some of
our fantastic and I bought a can CNN ticket then they can just names but it usually settles on name that means something as they the confidant in this book is called Miss Gulfstream and that may or may not have a meaning I would I would not myself say what it what it is but there is something that you do some well let's some there's a definitive ending to it would be a little bit less than something which is fairly new something less than an old man but I'm going to be playing with it because you suggested one doesn't know. James also write paragraphs of names in which we found a novel to put them into and that many fine names James notebooks and I want to get used. Would you like to play with the name Mrs. Newsome Mr.. Now I think I'm nothing to have to walk it back because they don't have to think I'm going in for the hockey to harpies then and this scene which we're about to witness from the ambassador is by Henry James. Struck by hand to ask if he might come to
breakfast in consequence of which she awaited him in the cool shade of a little Dutch looking structure I was confident now he spoke with a certain philosophic humor I don't know whether it's before you was a possibility that left to himself Mr. Chad may after all go back to work. I judge that it is more or less So before you. From what you just now said of him I don't think it will be for the money that you'll give up Ned and if you're late then he will give her all. What were you just about two hours. Is there anything he can do that would make you patch it up between me and business. There's nothing anyone can do it's over over for both of us. Are you so sure for her lawyers too much has happened. I'm different for she's the same. She's brought it over. But I do what I did before. See.
What then do you go home to. He had pushed his plate a little away feeling so much that he soon found himself on his feet. He put a question by for the moment. He told her more about Chad. He agreed with me last night on the infamy of not sticking to you is that what you called it for him infamy. No rather I described to him in detail the base creature beyond he quite agrees with me about it. I told him I should curse him. Oh you have done it. You can't after that propose propose again to Mrs. Hughes. I never believed you know that you did propose. I always believed it was really she. And so far as that goes I can understand what I mean is that with such a spirit the spirit of curses your breach is past mending. She has only to know what you've done to him and I've done what I could. One can't do more he protests his devotion to her. But I'm not sure I've saved him. He protests too much. He
asks how one can dream of his being tired of her. But he has all my life before him. He's fallen to please than she is the one who has formed him so it's scarcely his fault that any rate is danger. I mean it's hers but she knows it. Yes she knows it. India is your idea that there was some other woman in London. No that is I have no idea as art I'm afraid of them I am done with them too. Well do you go home to know that there will always be something to a great difference or great difference no doubt. Let national see what I can make of it. Shall you make anything so good so good as this place that this is not so good as what you make of everything you do. He had sufficiently understood her offer was the offer of exquisite
service of lightened for the rest of his days. It might well have tempted mileage. She was going on. There's nothing you know I wouldn't do for you. Oh yes I know there's nothing in all the world I know. I know but all the same I must go to be right to be right. But you see as my only logic not out of the whole affair to have gotten anything from myself. But with your wonderful impressions you'll have got a great deal a great deal. But nothing like you. It's you who will make me wrong. She can pretend she didn't say it. Still she could pretend a little. But why should you be so dreadfully right. That's the way that if I must go you yourself would be the first to want me and I can't do anything else. It isn't so much your being right it's your horrible sharp
eye for what makes you so awful but you're just as bad yourself. You can't resist me when I point that out. I can't indeed resist you. They have their way out. Well Mr. Blackmar as James says and had a habit of saying there we are and I I wonder just where we are. What do you feel. For instance where do you feel Struther is or what do you feel Struther is there is a sense in which the leading heroes of a man's work ourself to suddenly say that Strether is representative of a James and James living in London having heard an anecdote of his old friend and colleague William Dean how those who were dressed young Bostonian who had London connections name studies perhaps over a bottle of wine and said Live all you can live all you can.
This hardly seems to be a theme of renunciation which is what I personally see in Struthers final decision. Will that two things about that. There are various ways in which you can live I think one of the reasons that a great many people including myself feel very irritated by staff is that he has all James's sensibility without James's application to work after all. James went ahead and wrote the novels and then for Nancy action takes on the point that that he would dedicate yourself to a particular kind of life which James did you see others tell you to I think fit him. In all James's novels. Very strong feeling on his part but all close relationships almost bound to be destructive. That one party would be
a predatory party and the other would be the victim. Whether it's a parent and child or whether it's a man and woman which is the victim in this case. Well yeah that I think may be a fair they're just keeping from his cost treat He says my feelings I think she was she was after he just escaped from one hockey who was Mrs. Newsome and was gastric suggests that she believes that it was news who did the proposing and in this scene she packed it up for proposing herself. If I want to be tossed off separately there's itself one station that just so have preservation that leads straight to do this and seems to sound less and less in any case like Puritanism in the obvious sense of the word yes I don't care anything to do with terrorism at all. I think it did happen that James did have was a vision of evil about human relationships that they were apt to be very destructive. You could exchange you could share sensibility. But the moment you got closer to it
you were apt to just use or destroy or be destroyed. I think that James himself was a very passionate man who was very afraid of the damage he might do. In view of the theme of our program which is the European reaction or attitude toward Americans I wonder Mr. Blackmar What do you feel that your European audience French or Mr. ongoing Bush would have more difficulty or less difficulty in understanding stratas scruples as I assume he does have some scruples still in this final scene. He has almost nothing left but scruple. Scruple you know is a word that has a Latin history where it's a little pebble it boots it what should feet as you walk plus rather can hardly walk when it comes to the end of the book but I would suppose it's some side or mocked on the Latin origin that perhaps the Latin races rather stand in their own way as well as Lee
because the difficulty of understanding the name doesn't appear to me to be a racial or particularly in times of a given civilization. But it comes rather from the difficulty of accommodating yourself to a sensibility and from getting some grasp to which we can refer to intellectually or in conversation as his theme and books of this kind. When we were thinking about the American because almost beside her with that book stop short at the point where this book begins. But I doubt that seem to me to illustrate a good deal of what it would mean to say do the Europeans have any difficulty understanding it. This novelist as much as any writer as much as I put as much in his own way as Dotty is attempting to make images of the human conscience in a dramatic situation. He has perhaps his own Puritan geology if you want to insist on that that he had his
medieval salad if you want to insist on that. But just as Beatrice his eyes remained eyes when you come to the party saw me down the VNA and this book remains flesh. And very beautiful flesh and a feather on the other hand the nominal hero disappears. He is the man who is known. And only he has not all of it is that that's gone on all that has happened to these people. He has perhaps assessed it too much. He has perhaps had too much of conscience and the sense in which Joyce uses that again by the end wit this gnawing of things together. No wonder he has to go home in the home with nothing. Newman went home and no doubt went home to the ground life we don't know. And the American Struther were pretty well persuaded as not going home much of anywhere. I find out that I've never heard and the intelligent young Italians will appear to be reading James a great deal and it difficult about understanding the scruples and some of my
best Henry James Principessa have turned out to be Italian girls after all. I don't know that I've said your question. Do you feel to get back to the scene that we have just seen that there are any specific elements of James technique which we might feel has influenced his successors in Europe or in England that are seen to be highly unlikely on the face of it I don't think that one's particular techniques. If one is an author very often imitated particularly is James a very very eccentric off I mean you take a Lyme's James take a practice you can spot him out it was written by nobody else. And you couldn't even say you couldn't be influenced by him by imitating him. I doubt he has had a great influence in a certain critical way. First of all along with a number of other people as an example of of an
artist who really dedicated himself to his work and in particular in regard to the novel in making people think now a novel is not just a slice of life or a sort of triple time diary but it's a real form just like a poem is a real form it has to work to construct it and best There's ways I think he's had a great influence. Who couldn't really point to our important novelist I think and say Get man took on he's like his way of rocking problem James. Well is there anything that James may have said in his critical prophecies in his theorizing about his work that might be taken to have had an influence on his successor. I would suppose that what he has written his own prejudice to his own novels has been a great incentive to a great many people in the way in which they look at novels and perhaps a bit or rather an hour away. There is a saying we think of as the Henry James novel on a little tiny except Henry James and I sense you know if I can find out what you learn a
certain kind of economy you learn to have what Mr. Rodham was speaking of ever guide for the coercive child form which is one of James's own phrases and you find a view towards the novel as a kind of that or a child which is a la James in the preface to this very novel at which he was so proud as you know he thought better of this novel than I saying that he had written at least to the time he wrote the preface to it and you think of any author of the novel remain still. I mean the phrase is almost worth quoting. Under the right basically racially the most independent the most elastic the most prodigious literary forms. I would persuasion. Here's what James support and I think if I understand Mr. Orr rightly we could develop from that would persuasion. All that it is was attempting to mastering one's own craft whether as a novelist or as a ploy or critic for that matter I don't think it makes very much difference which the craft is can you think of any of the writers that we are dealing with later in
this program that might show if not a formal influence of James influence sensibility. If you were dealing with Mr. Robert Penn Warren It will certainly get a double influence there. Both formal and otherwise but not in any way suggesting that his novels resemble those of Henry James as they come out. Remember one can say this of James and I think it perhaps was insisting on. You can describe most of the short stories and a great many of his novels as rather like a well-made play like the French successful commercial seller of the 70s and 80s like the London set or the 90s if you like but that anybody can imitate that's not James what James did with a little bit of bones was to add a sensibility and reach the stuff. Such that he could take up and and act his themes and that's the power of
a man that cannot be really imitate it. Mr. Orden to get back to your recent remark that James could not be influenced or rather influential except by through his file do you think this makes him characteristically more American than European This tendency toward let's say and eccentricities rather than the school. No I think we're probably all over the world is it becoming more and more like that but if one looks at it I'm making this shit certain in the 19th century and including James into the 20th century I think if you compare them with European writers of the same period they will appear to be more different from each other as if each had to make an entirely new start. Then you would find in Europe and I do think it's a case where that's going to be difference is going to remain any longer. I rather doubt I think that Europe in that sense will probably push monarchy making condition as settler forms a society in traditional
breakdown. Final question Mr. Arden do you feel then that. What we have where pretended to call James expatriation earlier is really a sign of this eccentricity. You had something to get with it I mean for him that was the way in which he could find out first of all who he was and secondly somebody he could write you back if you can't imagine James give him the kind of person you are. You say being able to write a book on the theme of how quickly we would make any sense you know I couldn't do it. And he spent his life very successfully finding out what he could do. And he always making it more difficult. Mark mark on ask an artist do you have anything to add to this with the Blackman. Only that I would want to remind myself and I approve of the notion of eccentricity or even of the notion of uniqueness they want it with regard to the center in some way and I feel a force in Jane's mind which belongs to life and not to any act which is apart from life.
- Henry James, part two
- Producing Organization
- University of Massachusetts
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- In this program, the second of two parts, critics W.H. Auden and R.P. Blackmur discuss European viewpoints of the American author Henry James.
- Other Description
- This series analyzes European views of the works of American authors.
- Broadcast Date
- American literature--Europe--History and criticism.
- Media type
Guest: Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973
Guest: Blackmur, R. P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965
Moderator: Koehler, Stanley
Producing Organization: University of Massachusetts
Subject: James, Henry, 1843-1916
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-22-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “As others read us: American fiction abroad; Henry James, part two,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7m042m98.
- MLA: “As others read us: American fiction abroad; Henry James, part two.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 21, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7m042m98>.
- APA: As others read us: American fiction abroad; Henry James, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7m042m98