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ასპერნის წერილები

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,511 ratings  ·  454 reviews
ჰენრი ჯეიმზი (1843-1916) ამერიკული წარმოშობის ბრიტანელი მწერალია, რომელიც 30 წლის ასაკიდან ცხოვრობდა ევროპაში, სიკვდილამდე ერთი წლით ადრე კი ბრიტანეთის ქვეშევრდომობა მიიღო. თავისი ლიტერატურული მოღვაწეობის 51 წლის მანძილზე მან 20 რომანი, 112 მოთხრობა და 12 პიესა დაწერა.
ჯეიმზის ერთ-ერთი საუკეთესო ნაწარმოებია "ასპერნის წერილები", სადაც დიდი გონებამახვილობითა და იუმორით არის
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Paperback, 205 pages
Published 2013 by არტანუჯი (first published September 29th 1888)
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Glenn Russell
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition



In the section of his Moral Discourses entitled How a person can preserve their proper character in any situation the Stoic philosopher Epictetus says “You are the one who knows yourself – which is to say, you know how much you are worth in your own estimation, and therefore at what price you will sell yourself; because people sell themselves at different rates. Taking account of the value of externals, you see, comes at some cost to the value of one’s own character.”

I cite this quote since, in
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Kalliope

I generally do not like to discuss the plot in a review. And I will not in this one either. But apart from delighting in James’ prose and in his superb ability to characterize and develop personalities, reading this novella has made me think about what makes a good story.

For I was captured by the suspense James created out of a relatively simple situation.

What makes a good plot? It certainly needs a structure, a kind of frame that gives it independence and self-sufficiency. That means it demands
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Jola
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What did I think?
It's really hard to think feeling weak in the presence of sheer beauty, having your breath taken away and being hypnotised!

Two weeks later
Not much has changed since I finished reading. I still feel almost as infatuated with this novella as the nameless narrator was obsessed with Jeffrey Aspern's papers. I am constantly not capable of ‘Jola thinks rationally’ mode, so instead of sharing logical musings I will tell you what happened when I was reading this amazing book by Henry J
...more
Beverly
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Michael, The Aspern Papers is a remarkable short story/novela by James who wrote my favorite ghost story of all time--The Turn of the Screw. As with the Turn of the Screw, much is left unsaid, the reader has to determine through extremely minute variations of conversation and subtle action what is really going on. The main character is morally deficient and we witness his further descent into a quagmire.
Eric
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: themaster, ficciones
I must admit that Nabokov is completely spot-on in his criticism of The Aspern Papers, about which he complains in 1941 letter to Edmund Wilson:

Yesterday I read The Aspern Papers. No. He writes with a very sharp nib and the ink is very pale and there is very little of it in his inkpot…The style is artistic but it is not the style of an artist…He has charm (as the weak blond prose of Turgenev has), but that’s about all.


I had recalled, while reading The Aspern Papers, a negative reference to it in
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Lynne King
I have very mixed feelings about this novella. I have never read any of Henry James’ books before but upon advice it was suggested that I start with one of his novellas. So I decided upon this book as there are only eighty pages and it seemed as good a place as ever to start.

I actually don’t like Venice as a place and so I’m sure I’ll be called a philistine. I went in the month of December, many years ago, with an aged aunt which did not auger well. It was windy, the pigeons in St Mark’s square
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Chrissie
The Aspern Papers is a fictional story inspired by the letters Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Mary Shelley's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, who saved them until she died. (Source Wiki)

I find it interesting to observe what Henry James’ imagination has then invented. All the characters are fictional. He draws a story where two literary critics, believing that letters written by the famed but long-time deceased poet Jeffrey Aspern, are in the keeping of the poet’s former lover. They invent a plan to
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Stephen P
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: henry-james
Though written eight years before James’ Figure in the Carpet, The Aspern Papers is a more sophisticated, richer work. Here James has set himself a larger stage in which to develop characters grown out of the intrigue of the tale. While reading I felt the stage growing, as though James was keeping up with the narration as it was told. The punctiliousness of his style set the perfect distance within which to watch the characters and to live with them. Here, the tension was strung with a fine thre ...more
Ben Loory
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the more i read of henry james, the more i think he may be my favorite writer. it's weird, because he seems to be exactly all those things i most despise in writers-- he's long-winded, slow-moving, mostly humorless, always deeply embedded in real places, real people, real history, the real world-- really, i don't feel like i should like him at all! but then, somehow, underneath all of that, there is always in his writing a deep sense of mystery-- not just about the events in his stories, but abo ...more
Peter
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1888, this short novel reads like a contemporary mystery or thriller. James' prose is beautiful and complex like many of his peers of the day, but does not feel as weighted down. In fact, the use of candles and other time indicators aside, one could easily convince me Aspern was recently written by one of today's better writers. To be sure, James writes suspense and surprise endings as well as any genre author. If you've read Turn of the Screw, this won't come as a surpri ...more
Michael
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chilling, elegant, and dark.
Bill
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nameless narrator, a writer, travels to Venice with hopes of obtaining a trove of papers of the late, great poet Jeffrey Aspern, which he and a colleague hope to publish. They are in the possession of Juliana Bordereau, an elderly former lover of Aspern, who has spurned an earlier inquiry about them by the narrator's colleague.

Aware of Miss Bordereau's prickliness about the papers, the narrator mounts a complicated campaign to engage with her and the niece who attends her, Miss Tita, over the
...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
The Aspern Papers is a little gem of a book. Its plot is simple enough at first. An unnamed narrator sets to Venice, to find a woman who possibly still has love letters from a famous writer. The unnamed narrator is after those private letters and he feels justified in his quest- for he does it for the love of literature. However, where does the literature begin and the private life ends? Now, I'm pretty sure I had read this novella before I knew about the plot being based on the letters Percy By ...more
Claire  Admiral
★★★☆☆ 3 stars
Vesna
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vesna by: Katia N
This is my first James and, as wisely advised by my friend Katia, it indeed turned out to be the perfect choice for a James novice. I read the original (1888), not later stylistically revised version. In his introduction, Michael Gorra, a Jamesian scholar, advises:
I have chosen here to stay with the first book versions of these works. With 'The Portrait of a Lady' I prefer the New York Edition; it deepens the novel’s shadows, and its language has an extra degree of metaphorical richness. But
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Jo
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Every time I pick up a Henry James novel, I open it with trepidation. For some reason, I think I’m going to find his writing intimidating, stretching the limits of my comprehension with lengthy sentences and elaborate metaphors. Then I start reading, and remember that not only is he a master of the written word, but he is accessible, perhaps especially so in this short novella which I finished in a couple of days - good going for a slow reader such as myself.

The story is simple, man ado
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Jeanette
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be completely honest I would not have continued this (off and on 5 pages at a time, I must admit) if it had been many more pages than the novella length shorty that it is. People complain about Faulkner sentence structure and length! Well, James' ornate and convoluted thought patterns are much more difficult, IMHO. Not normal English in any modern sense of how you define "normal". Some passages are so obtuse that after reading and rereading I still only got a nuance for mood or tone and not a ...more
José Cruz Parker
The works of Henry James have an eerie, almost ghostly quality. When reading The Aspern Papers, for instance, I was reminded at times of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories The Fall of the House of Usher and The Assignation. Like Poe, James only hints at sex, he never mentions it explicitly (which, at least for me, is a good thing).

In the Aspern Papers, the nameless narrator is a man who rents a room in a Venetian palazzo. He thinks that there he will find the late Jeffrey Aspern’s letters and unpub
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Sketchbook
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To get what you want, would you pay a price -- or bolt?

James handles the sexuality v sedately, as expected. But it's compelling nonetheless. And sex is a metaphor for Anything. I've now read 3xs.
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Jon
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a Goodreads friend says, this has the pace and timing of a detective novel. It also has a somewhat ghoulish narrator who is intent on convincing himself and the reader that he is not greedy and amoral in his relentless search for some suspected revelatory "papers" of a poet of whose work he is a published scholar. He almost convinces himself that some fairly pitiless actions on his part are actually noble scholarly efforts in the advancement of knowledge. The descriptions of the two old ladie ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
3.5-4 I debated the rating
Perfect study of a manipulator being manipulated
The right length for this story-not too much development; it wasn't needed. The focus is the Papers and the obsession they inspire.
...more
Andrea Zuvich
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa! What an ending. I felt my heart go into my throat. Researchers and historians will definitely understand the protagonist's drive to locate the missing personal papers of the celebrated poet Aspern. His plan is quite good, but ultimately he is faced with an unpalatable offer—and his decision has irrevocable consequences. Another brilliant, but short, work from the great Henry James. ...more
Duane
For once the book Blurb here on GR does a good job of prefacing this book, so I won't take the time to repeat that. If you like Henry James verbose yet provocative writing style, then you won't be disappointed. James was fond of this short novel, ranking it ahead of The Turn of the Screw.The use of Venice as the setting for this novel was a nice touch that fit this story perfectly. ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
We are presented with an unnamed narrator in the canals of Venice. He is speaking with a Mrs. Prest about two old women, one of whom was the paramour of the fictional poet Jeffery Aspern. We learn that another Aspern researcher has determined Miss Bordereau has the papers of this celebrated poet who died more than 50 years previously. Ah, but the very elderly Juliana Bordereau is very protective, and has said no such papers exist. Now our unnamed narrator will use a false name and gain access to ...more
kabukigal
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Rutter
Classic James: you climb a hundred unremarkable pages to watch a single painful, surprising scene unfold.
Elena
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just re-read Henry James' novella the "Aspern Papers," again a second time after thirty years. It was first recommended to me in 1983 by Jean van Heijenoort, Leon Trotsky's secretary and, after the murder, his archivist, as the best depiction of an archivist's passion for finding the papers of a "great man." Even the first time around I certainly appreciated the fine description of a collector's monomania. While the story was written in 1887, I've seen modern archivists turn themselves inside ...more
Justin Evans
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love late James, but there's also a lot to be said for this sweet spot in the middle period. The sentences unfurl in a slightly less complicated way, the ideas are more evident, the characters less opaque, their thoughts less interminable. The Aspern Papers is my ideal beach read: I can lie back and enjoy the plot and paragraphs, I don't have to parse the language, and at the end I still feel like I've done my brain some good and become a better person. Also a very Venetian book; I hope to rea ...more
Laura
An enjoyable reading in a very warm afternoon.

Free download at Gutenberg Project

A movie The Lost Moment (1947) was made on this book and it is available at You Tube, with Robert Cummings, Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead.
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Martine
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think they hate Henry James
'Hypocrisy, duplicity are my only chance. I'm sorry for it, but there's no baseness I wouldn't commit for Jeffrey Aspern's sake.'

So says the unnamed narrator of Henry James' The Aspern Papers, a literary scholar who is writing a book about the fictional poet Jeffrey Aspern (loosely based on either Keats or Browning, depending on whose theories you choose to believe). At the beginning of the novella, the narrator discovers that Juliana Bordereau, to whom the poet addressed some of his most beaut
...more
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Books2Movies Club: 2020/06 - The Aspern Papers 1 16 Jun 16, 2020 12:16PM  
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Gothic Literature: The Aspern Papers, Henry James 8 21 Oct 13, 2013 12:47PM  

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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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