On reading Henry James

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

I find lately,

that I read,

slower,

that I reflect on what I read,

more,

and,

just as eating slower,

improves,

my old ass digestion,

so does,

reading slow,

improve the experience,

the digestion,

of,

thought.

I have been reading Henry James,

The American,

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which,

is not one of his best known works,

it was originally serialized in a magazine

for years, I resisted,

James,

thought to myself,

boring old dead white guy,

I know, I know, I’m narrow like everyone else, sometimes.

But,

just as,

I changed my mind,

about Thomas Hardy,

a few years ago,

I am now re-considering my view of James.

Slow, has it’s good points,

to be sure.

I believe,

there are a few reasons,

why I now appreciate these,

writers.

Maturity?

perhaps,

having read many books,

I have learned to appreciate,

the well crafted,

the subtle?

Probably

But,

I think for me,

the biggest reason,

may just be,

that I need quiet time,

to breath, to think,

to be still in my mind,

and,

this kind of writing,

inspires that,

putting the book down,

and,

thinking about it,

taking your time.

In a world of constant stimulation,

three or four conversations at once,

on the chat, Facebook, text,

I need to go away,

I need to turn off.

I like my gadgets,

my being able to be in touch,

at all times,

but,

even if I am not as busy,

as some people,

my brain is rarely quiet,

actually,

never.

Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen,

they are the equivalent of a good,

conversation,

with someone,

wise, astute, older,

you don’t agree with everything they,

‘say’,

but, it is an intelligent discourse,

civilized.

No need to impress,

to best,

sitting in silence,

sipping something,

enjoying the sun,

the breeze,

a slow smoke,

good company.

James,

grounds me,

sometimes,

I find myself in awe of his,

meticulously crafted sentences,

his insights,

but,

mostly,

I just listen,

and,

being me,

every once in a while,

I feel compelled to,

in my most genteel voice,

say,

“I really must disagree with you there, Mr James”

I would never call him Henry:-)

Yes,

I am enjoying,

the experience,

reading is so many different things,

to me,

to everyone,

but,

reading Henry James,

is sitting back,

in a wing chair,

thinking,

life is also good,

when slow.

Later girls,

BB

 

Published by

Bookish Butch

I am a bookish butch in my very early fifties. I live in Montréal and always have. I used to run a small used bookstore. Reading keeps me sane. My latest jiggie is photography, book project in the works, living the dream

2 thoughts on “On reading Henry James”

  1. You are so right. I must learn to take the time. Reflect. Live.
    Thanks BB. It’s always good reading you!

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