The Lightning Thief Book Two: The Sea of Monsters Book Three:
Index Introduction WHEN Henry James wrote the reminiscences of his youth he shewed conclusively, what indeed could be doubtful to none who knew him, that it would be impossible for anyone else to write his life. His life was no mere succession of facts, such as could be compiled and recorded by another hand; it was a densely knit cluster of emotions and memories, each one steeped in lights and colours thrown out by the rest, the whole making up a picture that no one but himself could dream of undertaking to paint.
Strictly speaking this may be true of every human being; but in most lives experience is taken as it comes and left to rest in the memory where it happens to fall. Henry James never took anything as it came; the thing that happened to him was merely the point of departure for a deliberate, and as time went on a more and more masterly, creative energy, which could never leave a sight or sound of any kind until it had been looked at and listened to with absorbed attention, pondered in thought, linked with its associations, and which did not spend itself until the remembrance had been crystallised in expression, so that it could then be appropriated like a tangible object.
To recall his habit of talk is to become aware that he never ceased creating his life in this way as it was lived; he was always engaged in the poetic fashioning of experience, turning his share of impressions into rounded and lasting images.
From the beginning this had been his only method of dealing with existence, and in later years it even meant a tax upon his strength with which he had consciously to reckon.
Looked at from without his life was uneventful enough, the even career of a man of letters, singularly fortunate in all his circumstances. Within, it was a cycle of vivid and incessant adventure, known only to himself except Boys american novelists and motherly speaker so far as he himself put it into words.
So much of it as he left unexpressed is lost, therefore, like a novel that he might have written, but of which there can now be no question, since its only possible writer is gone. Fortunately a great part of it survives in his letters, and it is of these that his biography must be composed. The material is plentiful, for he was at all times a copious letter-writer, overflowing into swift and easy improvisation to his family and to the many friends with whom he corresponded regularly.
His letters have been widely preserved, and several thousands of them have passed through my hands, ranging from his twenty-fifth year until within a few days of his last illness. They give as complete a portrait of him as we can now hope to possess. His was a nature in which simplicity and complexity were very curiously contrasted, and it would need all his own power of fusing innumerable details into coherency to create a picture that would seem sufficient to those who knew him.
Yet even his letters, varied as they are, give full expression to one side of his life only, the side that he shewed to the world he lived in and loved. After all the prodigal display of mind that is given in these volumes, the free outpouring of curiosity and sympathy and power, a close reader must still be left with the sense that something, the most essential and revealing strain, is little more than suggested here and there.
The daily drama of his work, with all the comfort and joy it brought him, does not very often appear as more than an undertone to the conversation of the letters.
It was like a mystery to which he was dedicated, but of which he shrank from speaking quite openly. Much as he always delighted in sociable communion, citizen of the world, child of urbanity as he was, all his friends must have felt that at heart he lived in solitude and that few were ever admitted into the inner shrine of his labour.
There it was nevertheless that he lived most intensely and most serenely. In outward matters he was constantly haunted by anxiety and never looked forward with confidence; he was of those to whom the future is always ominous, who dread the treachery of apparent calm even more than actual ill weather.
It was very different in the presence of his work. There he never knew the least failure of assurance; he threw his full weight on the belief that supported him and it was never shaken.
That belief was in the sanctity and sufficiency of the life of art. It was a conviction that needed no reasoning, and he accepted it without question. It was absolute for him that the work of the imagination was the highest and most honourable calling conceivable, being indeed nothing less than the actual creation of life out of the void.
He did not scruple to claim that except through art there is no life that can be known or appraised. It is the artist who takes over the deed, so called, from the doer, to give it back again in the form in which it can be seen and measured for the first time; without the brain that is able to close round the loose unappropriated fact and render all its aspects, the fact itself does not exist for us.
This was the standard below which Henry James would never allow the conception of his office to drop, and he had the reward of complete exemption from any chill of misgiving.
His life as a creator of art, alone with his work, was one of unclouded happiness. It might be hampered and hindered by external accidents, but none of them could touch the real core of his security, which was his faith in his vocation and his knowledge of his genius.
These certainties remained with him always, and he would never trifle with them in any mood. His impatience with argument on the whole aesthetic claim was equally great, whether it was argument in defence of the sanctuary or in profanation of it.
Silence, seclusion, concentration, he held to be the only fitting answer for an artist. He disliked the idea that the service of art should be questioned and debated in the open, still more to see it organised and paraded and publicly celebrated, as though the world could do it any acceptable honour.
He had as little in common with those who would use the artistic profession to persuade and proselytise as with those who would brandish it defiantly in the face of the vulgar. Thus it is that he is seldom to be heard giving voice to the matters which most deeply occupied him.Not the motherly type, he thinks, but she's got that instinct.
"Kid's just relaxing and enjoying a Coke." "Well, see to it he stays put," Pete Garfield says as if talking to the boy's nanny. The culminating glory of the dinner was the address of Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, known throughout the country as "the Unkies' Girl," because during the Great War she had advocated calling our boys in the A.E.F.
"the Unkies.". Lisa Ko joins us to talk about her debut novel, which tells the story of a young boy adopted by a pair of white professors after his Chinese immigrant mother. American Novelists and Motherly Speaker Figure. And today in the wide world of Literature, well maybe just short stories, we will be going over Rick Moody’s “Boys” and Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and discerning the way in which Moody chose to make his story very quick paced to the reader and in a way difficult to read, but with a purpose.
This annotated version of the Charlotte Mason Series is copyrighted to feelthefish.com Preface to the 'Home Education' Series The educational outlook is rather misty and depressing both at home and abroad.
Drama was to involve the direct observation of human behaviour; therefore, there was a thrust to use contemporary settings and time periods, and it was to deal with everyday life and problems as subjects.