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The Figure In The Carpet

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  19 reviews
RETURNING to town I feverishly collected them all; I picked out each in its order and held it up to the light. This gave me a maddening month, in the course of which several things took place. One of these, the last, I may as well immediately mention, was that I acted on Vereker's advice: I renounced my ridiculous attempt. I could really make nothing of the business; it pr ...more
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1896)
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Emily May
not as tightly wound as some of James' other stories
Marts  (Thinker)
The narrator reviews Hugh Vereker's latest novel and is quite baffled when Vereker tells him that he's "missed my little point," "the particular thing I've written my books most for," "the thing for the critic to find," "my secret," "like a complex figure in a Persian carpet."
The narrator tries to solve the riddle even seeking the help of his friend Corvick and his fiancée, Gwendolyn, but to no avail...
What is the 'little point', can it only be revealed to those of a particular status? Or is it
Eleni (OverThePlace)
You drove me insane, I'll give you that!
J'avais déjà eu ce livre à lire dans le cadre d'une lecture obligatoire, mais comme je ne me souvenais de rien, j'ai entrepris de me rafraîchir la mémoire. Le hic, c'est que depuis la première lecture, j'ai lu un autre récit d'Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, et que fatalement, je compare ce récit réaliste au Turn, fantastique.

La force de cette novella (à défaut d'avoir un meilleur terme que l'anglais) réside dans sa capacité à construire un suspense malaisant avec pratiquement rien. L'impor
Saoirse Sterling
I cannot figure out why I liked this so: I dislike short stories and first-person narrative in almost all occasions, but this was wonderful. It drew me in, it kept me wondering, it gave me joy. It was an odd story, but I liked that. Written well, in that Victorian style so superbly used then, and giving me faith in this little collection once more.
una novella sulla lettura, sui misteri della letteratura, sul lettore che si ritrova a cercare misteriose chiavi di accesso ai libri simili alle figure nascoste dei tappeti persiani. enigmatica e coinvolgente.
Sashi Bankova
'“Nobody sees anything!” she
cheerfully announced; to which I replied that I had often
thought so too, but had somehow taken the thought for a
proof on my own part of a tremendous eye.' :D
Douglas Dalrymple
Of the stories from James’s middle period that deal with authorship and the writer’s art, the best by far (I think) is The Middle Years. My least favorite is The Death of the Lion. The present title occupies a middle ground, alongside The Lesson of the Master perhaps. Hugh Vereker, the author character in The Figure in the Carpet, has supposedly hidden some secret message that runs, like a figure in a carpet, through all his works. Can his young admirer decode it? Is it worth decoding? What is t ...more
i'll upload the edition i read of the book soon ^^
Jean Carlton
Less compelling than some of his other stories;perhaps because it was so much like the previous story. I got restless with it. I do like the method our instructor is using in this Mod. Fiction class...that is reading thematically as opposed to chronologically. We've read 4 Henry James stories and now will follow up with Colm Toibin's The Master which is about Henry James.
I really enjoyed this very short book, and wonder what you will think of the Author's suggestion about books and their writers in general. What did you think of the ending? I can't say much more without giving it away. I am sure its available on Guetenberg, so just take an hour and read the book. Well worth it, not only for the story itself, but also for the way it will make you think differently about the next few books you read.
Having read about thirty of these little black marvels, I had deliberately kept this one back until last, smirking the shorter prose of James as I have. In retrospect, I should have read it earlier, leaving the honour of final place to Johann Peter Hebel's wonderful addition to the collection. However, this is perfectly enjoyable: a mean-spirited, slightly playful lampooning of the "art" of the critic, seemingly oozing with malice from the pen of the writer, as the foolish critic I question is s ...more
Wasn't that bad! Enjoyed it more than other mandatory reads for specific courses like this one.
Susan Kent
Took me a while to understand what was going on, as some of the words were unfamiliar. Didn't answer the main question in the story though.
beautiful sentence structure, as always; worth studying; the story itself captures even as it seems leaden or over-wrought. the central point is "the writer's over-arching central idea w/in all works" can be metaphorically referred to as "the figure in the (persian) carpet" and is always worth the effort. it's up to the reader though; the writer has done his/her part by constructing the oeuvre. fair position, imo.
3,5 *

" 'She's quite incredibly literary, you know - quite fantastically!' I remember his saying of her that she felt in italics and thought in capitals. "
Alex Rey
Ha estado bien, tiene ese humor del que tanto he escuchado hablar sobre este relato.
A short tale of mankind's obsession with deciphering the figure in the carpet.
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Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the ...more
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“It stretches, this little trick of mine, from book to book, and everything else, comparatively, plays over the surface of it. The order, the form, the texture of my books will perhaps some day constitute for the initiated a complete representation of it.” 0 likes
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