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Historias De Fantasmas Henry James

Historias De Fantasmas

Henry James

Published
ISBN : 9788421741726
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 About the Book 

This collection containing all of Henry James supernatural fiction is not only a book of chilling ghost tales, but also a book of psychologically complex short stories, written by a master stylist. The first two pieces are exceptions, mere apprentice works (after beginning well, “The Romance of Old Clothes” ends melodramatically, and the wordy and unfocused “The Ghostly Rental” lacks both compelling incidents and interesting themes), but seven of the remaining eight stories are excellent, and five of those seven (“Owen Wingrave,” “The Friends of Friends, “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Real Right Thing,” and “The Jolly Corner”) are masterpieces of the form.I believe James ghostly fictions improved as his style developed and matured. His later prose--charged with psychological nuance and attenuated suggestion--is so subtle in the way it conjures wraiths of meaning that one is often unsure whether it is the narrator, the author, or indeed the reader himself who has summoned any particular hint of significance- sometimes the meaning itself seems no more than a will o the wisp, a vaporous adumbration, a mere exhalation of style. Reading his long, often baffling sentences can be especially infuriating for the reader of James lengthy later novels--particularly for the reader who anticipates something akin to realism and psychological precision--but in a ghostly novella or a long scary short story, this later style may be just the thing. Searching for meaning in the old masters subtle prose can be like searching for ghosts in a fog: when the fog parts suddenly, and the spectre reveals itself, the effect--as in “The Jolly Corner”--can be both chilling and unique.Enough has been said about the “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Jolly Corner,” so I wont weary you with my commentary, but I would like to say something about three other stories in the collection. “Owen Wingrave,” the most conventional of the five, uses its gothic cliches—including the procession of censorious family portraits lining the walls of the Wingraves ancestral home--to show what a great burden generations of military tradition must be for the soul of a young man who—despite his personal courage—is a confirmed pacifist. The ending of this memorable work is poignant and tragic. “The Real Right Thing” takes for its theme not only authors and their biographers, but the ethics involved in the biographical process- it may be read as a supernatural corollary to “The Aspern Papers,” one of James finest novellas. My absolute favorite of James ghost stories, however—and Im including “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Jolly Corner,” both of which I love—is “The Friends of Friends.” It takes its inspiration from the common experience of having two friends who have so much in common youre certain they would like each other, but who—despite your best efforts—never are able to meet. From this simple idea, James builds an absorbing narrative of friendship, love, betrayal and lost opportunities. If you read nothing else here, read “The Friends of Friends.”