The Beast in the Jungle (Dodo Press)
Henry James's devastating and profoundly moving novella is the story of John Marcher, a man who, for as long as he can remember, has been obsessed by the feeling that some life-changing - even catastrophic - event lies in wait for him like a...more
And to me that’s the most marvelous thing about writers like James: one never encounters the same text;...more
C'è un passaggio, nel quarto capitolo, in cui Marcher nota, quasi per la prima volta l'aspetto di May, quando HJ scrive «Pallida quasi come cera, con in volto una serie di rughe e di segni tanto numerosi e sottili che parevano incisi con un ago, con drappeggi d'un bianco tenue messi in rilievo da una sciarpa verde sbiadita, il cui tono delicato risultava ancor più ingentilito dagli anni, May era l'immagine d'una serena e squisita, ma impenetrabile sfinge, la cui testa, per no...more
Jamesian studies in my department were so strong that three courses of my curriculum dealt with Henry James, of which one was monographic and a second analyzed American history and institutions through the works of the James Bros. (I shan���t dwell). As a consequence I developed a barely-concealed and equally strong dislike for the novelist. I still can���t stand his novels, and some of his novellas. On the other hand, years afterwards I still maintain...more
In one of the best reviews I've ever read of a piece of fiction (Note: any review, not just a Goodreads review), friend Aubrey pens in her opening thoughts on Infinite Jest: "Real life is a pain. Real life is a bitch." Note the double use of the word "real", for it isn't just life that is a pain and a bit...more
I'd initially given this a two-star review but upgraded it to three when I considered...more
Briefly; it’s a novella after all.
Apparently, enough time had lapsed after reading Proustitute’s fine review and Lee’s (perhaps, due to the good news of his new daughter) and Jesse’s, that I’d completely forgotten the story/novella’s subtext. All well and good. What remained was seeing three reviews for a short Henry James title, and it was a short title I was in need of; I will catch up on my 2013 reading goal, I will dammit. So, when I started reading this story, it wasn’t long before I was th...more
In a way the book is a bit predictable and it also seems to me a bit amateurish, as it was written by a first year English major.
È la terza volta che lo rileggo nel giro di pochi mesi, ed ogni volta aggiungo una parola, sottolineo una frase, afferro qualcosa che la volta precedente mi era sfuggita.
In questa edizione mi aiuta a comprendere meglio il significato di alcuni particolari anche una preziosissima introduzione che mi fa notare, sottolineando il fatto che nessun nome in Henry James è casuale, che «La casa dell'incontro cruciale tra i due si chiama Weatherend e il nome di l...more
I’m a big Henry James fan—the gorgeous prose, the nuanced understanding of the equally nuanced human condition(s)—even those twisting, turning sentences that, half a page later, leave me as wonderfully wrung out as they are. Now, having said that, I must admit that The Beast in the Jungle is a challenge even by Henry James standards, and about twenty pages in, I was beginning to regret having started in the first place.
So, warning thus in place, here we go… The conceit that begins and determines...more
It was a short read, only taking me a couple of hours all in. I have to be hone...more
Jamesian studies in my department were so strong that three courses of my curriculum dealt with Henry James, of which one was monographic and a second analyzed American history and institutions through the works of the James Bros. (I shan’t dwell). As a consequence I developed a barely-concealed and equally strong dislike for the novelist. I still can’t stand his novels, and some of his novellas. On the other hand, years afterwards I still maintain a fond memory about his...more
This could and should have been greater than it is. A real disappointment but still well worth wading through for the tragic, human denouement.
And the book goes on with those strange conversations sometimes allusive to "a jungle" and a "beast" as in a weird metaphore that will make you read the whole book and then finally understand what that was about, because until then it was just...more