Daisy Miller and Other Stories

Daisy Miller and Other Stories

Daisy Miller and Other Stories

Daisy Miller and Other Stories

Synopsis

The tale of Daisy's irruption into staid European society enjoyed, as did Daisy herself, a succes de scandale; and it has remained one of Jamess most popular short stories. Like the others collected here--'Pandora,' 'The Patagonia,' and 'Four Meetings'-- it describes a confrontation between different values in a changing world. Is the new independent American girl enchanting in her spontaneity, alarming in her unpredictability, or merely vulnerable in her ignorance of social codes? Hung about with make admirers who seek, uncertainly, to grasp the new phenomenon, Daisy marches on undiscourageable, to her triumphant--or tragic--destiny. This volume contains prefaces by Henry James, a chronology of his life, and editor's notes.

Excerpt

In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a
minute will reverse.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

'You don't observe--you know--you imagine.' The challenge to one of James's narrators goes to the heart of fiction. Necessarily we interpret what we encounter, draw the lines which define and bound what we perceive; but the reality of such lines is a matter of convention. Boundaries once familiar may become worn or strained, putting old certainties in jeopardy. The distinction between observation and imagination is treacherous: once admitted, it questions not only what is 'true', but the tools of verification. Observation can never be simple, for it implicates the observer. The novelist--seizing on what James calls the opportunity to 'Dramatise, dramatise!'--may be thought of as observing the observers, imaginatively.

Few of the boundaries of our world are clear or stable. Within Henry James's lifetime the very 'boundary' separating Europe from America changed. Steam, the screw propeller, and then the turbine engine were to cut the blank wastes of the North Atlantic from the nineteen or so days it would have taken the James family to cross from Boston to Liverpool in 1843, to a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.