Bruce Bawer considers the incomplete correspondence of Henry James

If you can tolerate Bruce Bawer’s almost insufferable attack on the ‘decadence of the present’, surely an idea freighted with political/cultural animus born of a reactionary politics, his seeming attack on scholarship in the age of the decline of print, accompanied by an unbecoming cynicism: considering these impediments, in the early parts of his essay, you might enjoy his look at Henry James through his corresondence, though be forewarned that Mr. Brawer lacks candor when it comes to Mr. James’ sexuality, and his closetedness in relation to his status as spectator rather than participant in life, demonstrated in his literary output. Should James’ choice of a model for his heroines in Minnie Temple be instructive? This to consider the thought – to foreshorten that complex of personality and it relation to that literary output.
If you read just the beginning of William and Henry James Selected Letters published by the University of Virginia Press edited by Skrupskelis,Berkeley and McDermott you find one of the main topics discussed in the early letters in this collection, besides a complex family life, is the subject of constipation, each brother seemed to spend at least some of the space of each letter on this compelling subject.
American Litterateur

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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