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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 2 0 Browse Search
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tories that must be hinted at rather than told, raptures that exist for the initiated only. The much discussed early and middle and later manners of James are only various campaigns of this one questing spirit, changing his procedure as the elusive object of his search hid itself by this or that device of protective coloration or swift escape. It is as if a collector of rare butterflies had one method of capturing them in Madagascar, another for the Orinoco, and still another for Japanthough Henry James found his Japan and Orinoco and Madagascar all in London town! No one who ever had the pleasure of hearing him discourse about the art of fiction can forget the absolute seriousness of his professional devotion; it was as though a shy celebrant were to turn and explain, with mystical intensity and a mystic's involution and reversal of all the values of vulgar speech, the ceremonial of some strange, high altar. His own power as a creative artist was not always commensurate with h