Monday, 01 August 2005

The Impossible James Short of an imaginary-Freedom-Tower to dwarf all imaginary-Freedom-Towers, it is impossible to imagine a monument able to capture the greatness of the immortal Henry James. How else to describe a man who could continue to produce short stories and novels for nearly sixty years after his own death? He may never have written the Great American Novel (which more on shortly), but he was America's Greatest Living Novelest. At least until his timely death in 1974. When the editorial board of Library Journal said "The Library of America is starting off with a bang in 1999," they didn't jest: the Library of America scored quite the coup. Forthcoming editions include: his (unpublished) novel about three starving German socialites after the Great War, The Wings of the Pigeon (1931) his (unpublished) sequel to The Ambassadors, the scathing Chamberlain (1939) his (unpublished) update to The Siege of London (1883) entitled The Seige of London (1942) his (unpublished) account of the death of humanism and the increasingly technocratic nature of political power, Washington Squares (1948) his (unpublished) paean to domesticity in the '50s, The Diary of a Man of One-Hundred and Fifty (1952) his (unpublished) biography of the young Charles Van Doren, The Pupil (1957) his (unpublished) sequel to his (unpublished) biogrpahy of the young Charles Van Doren, The Pupil?!? (1958) his (unpublished) story of a young woman's entrance into and rebellion against society, titled The Private-Life-Is-Political (1968) his (unpublished) shameful novella written shortly before his death, The Beasts Rumble in the Jungle (1974)

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