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The Jolly Corner

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  261 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"Every one asks me what I 'think' of everything," said Spencer Brydon; "and I make answer as I can-begging or dodging the question, putting them off with any nonsense. It wouldn't matter to any of them really," he went on, "for, even were it possible to meet in that stand-and-deliver way so silly a demand on so big a subject, my 'thoughts' would still be almost altogether ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1908)
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Sometimes you take a bite out of literature, and sometimes literature takes a bite out of you. Reading The Jolly Corner exhausted me; Henry James's prose, while apt and detailed, felt drawn-out and extended in ways that served only to fulfill the "intellectual for the sake of sounding intellectual" type of writing I come across often while reading classics. I found the story itself intriguing - a man who traveled abroad in Europe comes back to New York after 30 years, and the ghost of his possib ...more
Cosa sarebbe stato se…?
Ad una prima parte introduttiva e ad un’ultima di chiusura, abbastanza scontate, si aggiunge un solido corpo centrale che vale tutto questo “corto romanzo”. In esso appare coinvolgente l’aspetto psicologico; risultano accurate le sfumature, le descrizioni delle ansie, delle fantasticherie, delle ombre del passato; è accattivante la ‘vicenda’, se vicenda si può chiamare un viaggio alla ricerca di se stessi o, meglio, dell’altro se stesso, di quello che sarebbe stato se inve
This classic "doppelganger" story sheds new light on Henry James' use of the Gothic. The "Ghost" here is the imagined version of the protagonist as what he might have been if his life had gone a different direction. At first this spectre is dreamed up by a female friend of the protagonist, then the protagonist confronts the ghost. "Is it real, or is it not?" becomes less important than "to whom is the ghost real?" and what does the doppelganger's appearance mean? Is the lonely, repressed female ...more
This short story is undoubtedly unique once you learn how beautifully it was crafted but the experience of reading it is too exhausting for me to like it.
No Books
The Jamesian Reread #2

Henry James’ last ghost story, and his finest since The Turn of the Screw, is also his final meditation on some of his most personal concerns: the international theme, the American who goes back after a long period spent in the Old World and his impressions of a rapidly changing country that at the turn of the century was rising to the role of world power.

Spencer Brydon, 56, a New Yorker, returns home after living in “Europe” [sic] for 33 years, in order to look after his
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Henry James last ghost story, and his finest since The Turn of the Screw, is also his final meditation on some of his most personal concerns: the international theme, the American who goes back after a long period spent in the Old World, and his impressions of a rapidly changing country that at the turn of the century was rising to the role of world power.

Spencer Brydon, 56, a New Yorker, returns home after living in Europe [sic] for 33 years, in order
Austin Wright
Henry JAmes is damn-near unreadable. This "Ghost-story" is a man visiting his childhood home and confronting the man he could have been. Waste of a tree for this to be printed.
This book was really kind of awful. I could barely understand most of it. The movie was much, much better. It was basically the story of a man who left New York when he was young to study in England. When he returns to find skyscrapers and crowds of people replacing the nice quiet town he grew up in, he starts to search for his alter ego in the house his deceased brother left him. He literally searched for it as though it were a person hiding from him. It was kind of silly and strange, but you g ...more
Brought to you by the man who never met a comma he didn't like...

Also, if you want a lesson in short story composition, I'd turn to Poe.

The plot of The Jolly Corner, that of the unlived life or the might-have-been, is interesting, as is the device used to bring it about.

But the narration is too meandering, and the paragraphs much too long - especially for something that's meant to be short and fast paced.
Vildan Arıcan
hmmm as a Jamesian feature, it fulfills all the needs for recognizin the voice of the author. however, even if James kindda looks down on Hawthorn in His Man of Letters, he was actually inspired by him as we see the romantic hue in the story, The Jolly Corner...

hard to get what he want to tell but that difficulty actually gives you the taste of tiredness when u deal with literature...
A great James short story. Another sort of ghost story like Turn of the Screw, with a characteristically ambiguous ending. Short and sweet with plenty to think about.
So, following The Turn of the Screw, I have decided that James is simply not for me. Nono.

Good story...once I'd deciphered the prose and flourishing text! My simple brain needed a lot of strain to keep up with this story.
I don't know why I persist in reading Henry James. He's hard to understand and kind of weird. This book is no exception.
Loved the weird factor. But, I liked it less this time.
Ingenious and so depressing.
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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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“sensation more complex than had ever before found itself consistent with sanity. ” 4 likes
“He liked however the open shutters; he opened everywhere those Mrs. Muldoon had closed, closing them as carefully afterwards, so that she shouldn't notice: he liked--oh this he did like, and above all in the upper rooms!--the sense of the hard silver of the autumn stars through the window-panes, and scarcely less the flare of the street-lamps below, the white electric lustre which it would have taken curtains to keep out. This was human actual social; this was of the world he had lived in, and he was more at his ease certainly for the countenance, coldly general and impersonal, that all the while and in spite of his detachment it seemed to give him.” 3 likes
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