Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday commute ci: Where is James traveling?

The little watering-place of
Ilfracombe is seated at the
lower verge of one of these
seaward-lunging valleys, be-
tween a couple of magnificent
headlands which hold it in a
hollow slope and offer it se-
curely to the caress of the
Bristol Channel..

                 My chief conclusion, perhaps,
                 from all these things was that
                 the English are masters of the
                 art of not losing sight of ease
                 and convenience in the pastoral
                 life - unlike our own people,
                 who, when seeking rural beguile-
                 ment, are apt but to find a new
                 rudeness added to nature.

  I'm honestly not one of
  those admirers of James
  who insist that he real-
  ly meant to be gross,
  and crude and awful, but
  was constrained and ruin-
  ed in life and in art by
  conditioning. I just cop-
  ied, above the previous
  illustration, a classic
  example of his gift for
  appreciation, because it
  renewed my apprehension
  that our "sympathy" only
  substantiates his impres-
  sion of the second excerpt.
  I urge a truce with James,
  even at the beach.

                                and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show
              Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak'd,
              I cried to dream again.

Henry James
English Hours

William Shakespeare
The Tempest
  III, ii, 138-41
op. cit.

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