Thursday, December 8, 2011

From our book of the year i

  imagine a literature
  of power without force

   .. as I remount the stream of composition
   I see it faintly coloured again: with the
   bright protection of the Normandy coast
   (I worked away a few weeks at Êtretat);
   with the stronger glow of southernmost
   France, breaking in during a stay at Bay-
   onne; then with the fine historic and 
   other "psychic" substance of Saint-Ger-
   main-en-Laye, a purple patch of terraced
   October before returning to Paris ..

Henry James
The American
  from the Preface to the
  New York Edition
The Art of the Novel
  Critical Prefaces
Scribner's, 1934
Preface by Colm Tóibín
University of Chicago Press, 2011©

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