Nonfiction > Carl Van Doren > The American Novel > Subject Index > Page 211
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX

Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 211

as a sort of moral sequel to What Maisie Knew, exhibits two children so corrupted by wicked servants that words will not utter the evil in them. Although a certain symbolism hints at the nature of this particular evil, James was careful not to identify it exactly. Horror multiplies with the vagueness. Maisie is menaced by a bad example which is understood however hated; Miles and Flora appear to have been exposed to dim cosmic forces of evil which surround mankind as in the old Puritan cosmos, now and then expressed in actual sin but always huger than anything which can come of them. The Awkward Age (1899), also concerned with the young, brought James back from his far explorations to polite comedy again, to the problem of the young girl in a society full of innuendo and intrigue. But Nanda Brookenham’s experiences are swathed in such countless folds of reference and gossip that, artfully as the drama is expounded, it comes to the ear with a muffled sound, like agreeable voices heard speaking at a distance which lets the actual words die away on the wind. Five hundred pages of such matter strain the most loyal attention to irritation if not to disgust. And much the same thing must be said of The Sacred Found (1901), which has a soul the size of a short story and a body enlarged to the size of a novel by the solicitude with which James walks round and round his theme, hinting, hinting, hinting.
  A consequence of the exuberant insinuation with which he worked in the first five years of his freedom from hope in the public was that the public found itself, by the reports of those who had read these later books, confirmed in its disposition to neglect him. From these years dates



CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors