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The Beast in the Jungle

Henry James

Book Overview: 

'The Beast in the Jungle' is a novella by Henry James, first published as part of the collection, The Better Sort. Almost universally considered one of James' finest short narratives, this story treats appropriately universal themes: loneliness, fate, love and death. The parable of John Marcher and his peculiar destiny has spoken to many readers who have speculated on the worth and meaning of human life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But it wasn’t strange.  It wasn’t what my affair’s to be.”

“You want something all to yourself—something that nobody else knows or has known?”

“It isn’t a question of what I ‘want’—God knows I don’t want anything.  It’s only a question of the apprehension that haunts me—that I live with day by day.”

He said this so lucidly and consistently that he could see it further impose itself.  If she hadn’t been interested before she’d have been interested now.

“Is it a sense of coming violence?”

Evidently now too again he liked to talk of it.  “I don’t think of it as—when it does come—necessarily violent.  I only think of it as natural and as of course above all unmistakeable.  I think of it simply as the thing.  The thing will of itself appear natural.”

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Community Reviews

**** SPOILER ALERT **** (But please, before reading this review, invest the time in reading James's short story. You will be glad you did, regardless of whether you return to read the following)

In one of the best reviews I've ever read of a piece of fiction (Note: any review, not just a Goodreads re

"No podía invitar a una mujer a que compartiera su situación de condena, temor y obsesión; y el resultado de aquello era precisamente lo que le preocupaba. Algo se ocultaba, acechándole, entre el ir y venir de los meses y los años, como una bestia agazapada en la jungla. Poco importaba si la bestia

Ωραία, φέτος έχω διαβάσει τα ωραιότερα σφηνάκια στιλάτης και υπέροχης λογοτεχνίας, από αυτές τις νουβέλες που σε εμπλέκουν τόσο έντονα στην ιστορία τους και που δε λησμονούνται εύκολα· πιάνουν χώρο στη νοερή βιβλιοθήκη του μυαλού, μπαίνουν σφήνες καλύπτοντας ένα κενό που το νόμιζες μικρό αλλά που τε

"Προχωρούσε λοιπόν ψηλαφιστα στην σκοτεινή κοιλάδα που τον είχε οδηγήσει ο δρόμος του, βασανισμένος από μυριους στοχασμούς, όταν άλλαξε αναπάντεχα πορεία. Δεν τον ένοιαζε αν τσακιζοταν με τρόπο φρικτό, αν ντροπιαζοταν, αν τον κατηγορούσαν για τερατώδη συμπεριφορά - άλλωστε δεν ήταν τόσο ηλικιωμένος

Το ημερόλογιο αναμονής της μοίρας γράφεται απο την σπατάλη της ζωής και μετράει πάντα ημέρες, μήνες, έτη, σε μια χρονική κατάταξη όπου επιτρέπεται σε ένα άγνωστο πεπρωμένο, σε μια κακιά μοίρα που σώνει μυστικά και αθέατα τα θηράματα της απο μια χειρότερη μοίρα, να καταδικάζουν υπάρξεις στον σπαραγμό

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