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Henry James: At Home and Abroad


“The only obligation to which we may hold a novel,” Henry James once notably declared, “is that it be interesting.” We will explore five of the most “interesting” of James’s novels from the three major phases of his literary career. Our speaker is Caroline Levander, associate professor of English at Rice University and author of a number of articles on Henry James. The seminar will focus on James’s lifelong fascination with Europe and will consider how James’s most famous heroines, as well as their creator, confront the world abroad as part of what James described as the “complex fate of being American.”

On Monday, September 20, we will enjoy a private tour of Rienzi, a European-style villa built for Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III and now the European decorative arts center of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Thereafter we will meet every other Tuesday in Rienzi’s elegant ballroom and discuss James’s books in the following order:

Monday, September 20: Tour of Rienzi
Tuesday, September 21: The Bostonians
Tuesday, October 5: The Portrait of a Lady
Tuesday, October 19: The Turn of the Screw and What Maisie Knew
Tuesday, November 2: The Golden Bowl

Details

Start:
September 1, 2004 @ 12:00 am
End:
December 31, 2004 @ 11:59 am
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