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The Figure in the Carpet and Other Stories

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The stories in this collection were written mostly between 1888 and 1897, a time when Henry James’s writing was concerned with the art of fiction and the position of the artist in society. The motif and title story, ‘The Figure in the Carpet’, is an inspired joke, a masterpiece of double-entendre that demands the reader’s undivided love and attention and continues to baffl ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 464 pages
Published April 28th 1986 by Penguin Classics (first published 1896)
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Feb 12, 2009 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to strengthen their teeth
Recommended to Wayne by: Henry, of course!!
What can you say about The Master!!!!
His writing just got more and more impossible.
But so has my mother and I'm still there every day!!!!

Here is writing to revel in and respect - oblique, tortuous AND torturous, circumlocutory (a word especially invented for HJ!!), and ferociously DENSE in his later stories.
These are NOT later, so don't run away.
But here you WILL get a whiff of what's in store!!

James has such original subjects and original ways of narrating.
Dialogue that you scrutinise for clues
Vanessa Baish
the short story is an excellent form for james; he stretches the length of attention normally needed to read a short story and he reward as well. the language is james' usual: elaborate, constantly digressive, circumlocuitous, and always elegant. the absolute best story in the collection and an excellent example of a modern short story: "the middle years."
In typical James style, there are plenty of cunning, charming, devious characters within. One of his favorite plots seems to be the schemer wanting something from someone who's grieving. Morbidly funny stuff:)
Interesting stories, some great scenes and I can see why people enjoy his writing. But wow these young men are high-strung! That makes the stories a little dated for me.
May 23, 2012 TaleofGenji marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Love books? This ambitious novella tries to explain why - it's great metaliterature. Read it twice to let it sink in. Amazing!
One of the best introductions to James' tales currently on the market, with intro by the ever superb Kermode.
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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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