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A Small Boy and Others

Henry James

Book Overview: 

A Small Boy and Others is a book of autobiography by Henry James. The book covers James’s earliest years and discusses his intellectually active family, his intermittent schooling, and his first trips to Europe.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .English was our principal host there, with whom we had moreover, my father and I, thanks to his office, such personal and genial relations that I recall seeing him grace our board at home, in company with his wife, whose vocal strain and complexion and coiffure and flounces I found none the less informing, none the less "racial," for my not being then versed in the language of analysis.

[Pg 82]

The true inwardness of these rich meanings—those above all of the Bookstore itself—was that a tradition was thus fed, a presumption thus created, a vague vision thus filled in: all expression is clumsy for so mystic a process. What else can have happened but that, having taken over, under suggestion and with singular infant promptitude, a particular throbbing consciousness, I had become aware of the source at which it could best be refreshed? That consciousness, so communicated, was just simply of certain impressions, certain sources of impression again,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Beset as one avowedly is by vernal distractions—I speak of those amplitudes of exposed bosom, those beguiling expanses of derrière sheathed in lycra, whose appearance heralds, more surely than the robin, the advent of spring—thus beset, I say, it is doubtful whether a mere book review, however ea...more

zinger:

i in any case can't pretend not to have been most appealed
to by that especial phase of our education from which the
pedagogic process as commonly understood was most
fantastically absent.

After reading all (yes, all!) his novels, I've concluded that with late Henry James, there is no point trying to analyse and understand every sentence. It's like listening to late Beethoven Quartets - enjoy the sound and don't worry overmuch about how it's made. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir o...more