THE NOVELS AND TALES OF HENRY JAMES New York Edition VOLUME I RODERICK ON HENRY JAMES NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS COPYRIGHT 1907 CHARLES SCIUBNERS SONS RENEWAL COPYRIGHT 1935 HENRY JAMES A-8.6r MH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS BOOK MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PREFACE RODERICK HUDSON was begun in Florence in the spring of 1874, designed from the first for serial publication in The Atlantic Monthly, where it opened in January 1875 and persisted through the year. I yield to the pleasure of placing these circumstances on record, as I shall place others, and as I have yielded to the need of renewing ac quaintance with the book after a quarter of a century. This revival of an all but extinct relation with an early work may often produce for an artist, I think, more kinds of interest and emotion than he shall find it easy to express, and yet will light not a little, to his eyes, that veiled face of his Muse which he is condemned for ever and all anxiously to study. The art of representation bristles with questions the very terms of which are difficult to apply and to appreciate but whatever makes it arduous makes it, for our refresh ment, infinite, causes the practice of it, with experience, to spread round us in a widening, not in a narrowing circle. Therefore it is that experience has to organise, for con venience and cheer, some system of observation for fear, in the admirable immensity, of losing its way. We see it as pausing from time to time to consult its notes, to measure, for guidance, as many aspects and distances as possible, as many steps taken and obstacles mastered and fruits gathered and beauties enjoyed. Everything counts, nothing is super fluous in such a survey the explorers note-book strikes me here as endlessly receptive. This accordingly is what I mean by the contributive value or put it simply as, to ones own sense, the beguiling charm of the accessory facts in a given artistic case. This is why, as one looks back, the private history of any sincere work, however modest its pre tensions, looms with its own completeness in the rich, am biguous aesthetic air, and seems at once to borrow a dignity PREFACE and to mark, so to say, a station. This is why, reading over, for revision, correction and republication, the volumes here in hand, I find myself, all attentively, in presence of some such recording scroll or engraved commemorative table from which the private character, moreover, quite insists on dropping out. These notes represent, over a considerable course, the continuity of an artists endeavour, the growth of his whole operative consciousness and, best of all, perhaps, their own tendency to multiply, with the implication, thereby, of a memory much enriched. Addicted to stones and inclined to retrospect, he fondly takes, under this backward view, his whole unfolding, his process of production, for a thrilling tale, almost for a wondrous adventure, only asking himself at what stage of remembrance the mark of the relevant will begin to fail. He frankly proposes to take this mark everywhere for granted. Roderick Hudson was my first attempt at a novel, a long fiction with a complicated subject, and I recall again the quite uplifted sense with which my idea, such as it was, permitted me at last to put quite out to sea. I had but hugged the shore on sundry previous small occasions bumping about, to acquire skill, in the shallow waters and sandy coves of the short story and master as yet of no vessel constructed to carry a sail. The subject of Rod erick figured to me vividly this employment of canvas, and I have not forgotten, even after long years, how the blue southern sea seemed to spread immediately before me and the breath of the spice-islands to be already in the breeze...
Number Of Pages: 548
Published: 15th March 2007
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97 x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.69