All posts by KAP

A mask and a shell

“What it had come to was that he wore a mask painted with the social simper, out of the eyeholes of which there looked eyes of an expression not in the least matching the other features.” James, Henry. Major Stories and Essays. New York: Library of America, 1999. pg 459. I see Marcher as hollow and empty ~ a mask not as a disguise but as a cover for a shell.

“Isn’t what you describe perhaps but the expectation-or, at any rate, the sense of danger, familiar to so many people-of falling in love?” James, Henry. pg 453. Marcher feels he is destined for something bigger than falling in love and he doesn’t realize that is the biggest thing of all.

Fiction and Lying as Art

“It is here in very truth that he competes with life;it is here that he competes with his brother the painter in his attempt to render the look of things, the look that conveys their meaning, to catch the colour, the relief, the expression, the surface, the substance of the human spectacle.” James, Henry. Major Stories & Essays. New York: Library of America, 1999. Pg.581. – James’ argument of fiction as art reminds me of research paper I wrote last semester arguing that Stephen Crane is an impressionist writer using techniques of the impressionist painters. Agree with James that fiction writing is “one of the fine arts” (575).

“Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!” Pg. 581 – the definition of an artist, and the way to experience life.

“A novel is a living thing, all one and continuous, like any other organism, and in proportion as it lives will it be found, I think that each of the parts there is something of each other of the other parts” pg. 582 – great analogy – a novel is about life and takes on its own life, needs to be cohesive, a body of parts.

“He forgets that when Art surrenders her imaginative medium she surrenders everything.” Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Pg. 24. – art is not simply imagination, it’s interpretation.