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Roderick Hudson

Henry James

Book Overview: 

Roderick Hudson is James's first important novel. The theme of Americans in Europe, so important in much of James's work, is already central to the story. Hudson is a young law student in Northampton, Massachusetts, who shows such surprising ability as a sculptor that the rich Rowland Mallett, visiting a cousin in Northampton, decides to stake him to several years of study in Rome, then a center of expatriate American society. The story has to do not only with Roderick's growth as an artist and the problems it brings, but also as a man susceptible to his new environment, and indeed his occasional rivalries with his American friend and patron.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .lly a great many wiseheads who smiled at his precipitancy, and cited him as one more example of Yankee crudity, a capital recruit to the great army of those who wish to dance before they can walk. They were right, but Roderick was right too, for the success of his statue was not to have been foreseen; it partook, really, of the miraculous. He never surpassed it afterwards, and a good judge here and there has been known to pronounce it the finest piece of sculpture of our modern era. To Rowland it seemed to justify superbly his highest hopes of his friend, and he said to himself that if he had invested his happiness in fostering a genius, he ought now to be in possession of a boundless complacency. There was something especially confident and masterly in the artist's negligence of all such small picturesque accessories as might serve to label his figure to a vulgar apprehension. If it represented the father of the human race and the primal embodiment of human sensation, it. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Roderick Hudson, egotistical, beautiful, hot, and an exceptionally gifted sculptor,

but poor, is taken up by Rowland Mallet, a rich man of "fine appreciative sensibilities",

who is kind of totally in love with him and it's so kind of gay but cute, you know, and he gives him $$$ and takes him to Italy

Max Beerbohm on James : "To read Henry James is like taking a long walk uphill with almost of a mind to turn back, until, when you look back and down, the country is magically expanded beneath your gaze, as you never saw it."

This, his 2d novel (1875), explores the double image of Rowland and Roderic

I truly enjoyed this sophomore effort by my favourite 19th century novelist, Henry James. So the story is a little on the melodramatic side, so coincidences abound, so the characters somewhat feel like cardboard cutouts of characters. This is the Master’s first attempt at a novel (if we discount Wat

عبر تناقض وتكامل أبطالها تأخذنا الرواية في رحلة من السرد البديع لنعيش معهم أهم انفعالاتهم ونتعرف دوافعهم وأفكارهم..
تركيب الشخصيات كان الميزة البارزة لهذا العمل والتي نحتها الكاتب بمهارة فنان خبير، لا أحبذ المقارنات لكني في بعض الأوقات شعرت بنفحة من أسلوب دوستويفسكي.
لم يختر جيمس لروايته شخوصاً بصفات

At a certain point I couldn’t help wondering if Henry James hadn’t used the two main characters in this novel to have a detailed and protracted argument with himself. Rowland might be seen as HJ in his social guise and Roderick a mischievous projection of his precocious genius. You could describe bo

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