This novel perpetuates this theme with the advent of an overbearing literary historian attempting to ascertain information from his most beloved, masterful poet. Unbeknownst to the narrator, 19th century Venice proves to be a rather un-eco-friendly environment. As he eventually discovers, not only will the garden prove to be a money sink, but it will also fail in charming his adversary Miss Bordereau. Normally, a garden may symbolize growth or puritya place where, if cultivated properly, life and hope may flourish.
However, James shows us that for our narrator, this garden proves to be the opposite. Considering the novella is centered on the lost papers of Jeffrey Aspern, it is worth entertaining them as a motif in themselves. They are constantly on the mind of our narrator and, though we do not gain access into the mind of Miss Bordereau, they may very well be in hers too. The papers can be representative of almost any tangible leftovers from an artist.
One would think that if this historian were interested in the relics of Aspern, then any would suffice. The letters remain distinct from the portrait till the bitter end, even being shadowed completely by the loss of the papers. Film variations of Henry James' novella remain in obscurity, but three are relatively well-known:. The Lost Moment Director: It is a sweeping, romantic drama that focuses on the relationship between the American publisher who is given a name, Lewis Venable and Tina Bordereau.
The film takes liberty with James' story, transforming it into a provocative, psychological thriller. Tina becomes a madwoman who falls into hallucinations wherein she believes that she is Juliana and Lewis is the poet Jeffrey Aspern. She is also shown as a heartless lunatic, violently beating her maid Amelia off screen for keeping a cat in the house.
The film also diverges with Juliana's final climatic scene where she admits that she murdered Jeffrey in a desperate act of passion: He was going to leave me, and I killed him. Lewis carries her outside, and Juliana attempts to seize the letters.
She knocks a candle to the floor in the process and sets the room ablaze. The fire engulfs the palazzo, Juliana and the letters perishing within. Unlike the novella, the publisher was able to read the letters before they burned. At the start of the movie, the camera pans over a portrait of Percy Shelley, the real-life Jeffrey Aspern.
Eduardo de Gregorio There is not much information available online for this film, but it is worth noting for its complete change in scenery. The Aspern Papers Director: Hellmund has transplanted James' story from decaying Venice to modern-day Choroni, Venezuela, a colorful place alive with Caribbean culture.
Aspern Papers Composer: Juliana is once again portrayed as a jealous lover who aided in Aspern's drowning. Argento gives temporality to the performance by creating flashback scenes to Juliana's youth.
He was one of five children, notably including William James and Alice James. James spent large amounts of his first twenty years in both the US and England, where he would gain nationality, in , and ultimately die on February 28, Born into wealth, James had the luxury of being educated in the finest schools in America, as well as all over the rest of Europe.
I just re-read Henry James' novella the "Aspern Papers," again a second time after thirty years. It was first recommended to me in by Jean van Heijenoort, Leon Trotsky's secretary and, after the murder, his archivist, as the best depiction of an archivist's passion for finding the papers of a "great man.
While the story was written in , I've seen modern archivists turn themselves inside I just re-read Henry James' novella the "Aspern Papers," again a second time after thirty years. While the story was written in , I've seen modern archivists turn themselves inside out to ingratiate themselves with the "keeper of the flame" in hopes of scoring the spoils, and at time resorting to flattery, lies, deceptions, phoney friendship, and non-existent jobs.
Looking at a small miniature painting of Aspern, the narrator thinks that it is not very well painted, but talking with the old lady, Juliana,the owner of the painting, he praises it highly, and then learns that it was painted by her father. The narrator's relief that he avoided a misstep by avoiding the truth is almost palpable.
I've seen this kind of hypocrisy in action many times. Re-reading the story at leisure, I realize that the story is about much more, all about the treacherous moral ground that a biographer or really any historian treads, invading private lives and exposing them to the world. Who has the moral right to do such a thing?
James was writing just as emerging technology enabled newspaper photographers to print photos without the permission of the subjects and expose unsuspecting people to the uncaring scrutiny of the masses. James decries cameras a couple times even though they play no actual role in the plot. James himself was secretive about his private life and his many intense friendships with women as well as men as he roamed Europe. He knew the terrain. The act of publishing is a violation of privacy as Juliana, the owner of the letters accuses the narrator: The narrator knows to keep his own privacy: So he is definitely immoral.
But there is more. From start to finish, the unnamed biographer makes snide gratuitous comments denigrating women, particularly Juliana's niece Miss Tina: There is an ironic, self-aware soap opera technique at work in the novella, with a cliff hanger or shocker at the end of each chapter, a relic I suppose of the way the book was serialized in its initial publication over several months in "The Atlantic.
This understated self-aware humor is a sheer delight. He wrote under the spell of Florence and Venice, the initial impetus being an ancient English resident in Florence with letters of Byron and Shelley. He shifted the scene from Florence to Venice with all that eerie Venetian light and crumbling grandeur. And he shifted the subject from a fine English poet to a non-existent American, knowing well there never was an American poet in of the same stature as Byron.
Ironic wishful thinking here. There is clear foreshadowing, this is not a spoiler it's early in the story, that the papers turn to ashes Then in a case of life imitating art, some years after writing the story one of his close friends, Constance Fenimore Woolson, the great niece of Fenimore Cooper, committed suicide, jumping out of the window of her Venetian apartment. Earlier James and Fenimore had shared the same cook and shared meals every night in Florence for weeks. It's known that she had wanted a closer relationship, rather like Miss Tina and the narrator.
After her suicide, James ingratiated himself with her family by spending weeks sorting her papers. And her letters from James disappeared along with most of hers to him. Anita Feferman wrote a fine biography of my friend Jean van Heijenoort entitled "Politics, Logic and Love," but she published it after Jean's death.
Privacy in legal terms is supposed to end at death. Editing his stories and his own papers, James ensured both his privacy and his fame way into the future. The first legal articulation of privacy law was published in by Brandeis motivated by newspaper and photographic intrusions: Dec 01, Justin Evans rated it it was amazing. I love late James, but there's also a lot to be said for this sweet spot in the middle period. The sentences unfurl in a slightly less complicated way, the ideas are more evident, the characters less opaque, their thoughts less interminable.
The Aspern Papers is my ideal beach read: I can lie back and enjoy the plot and paragraphs, I don't have to parse the language, and at the end I still feel like I've done my brain some good and become a better person. Also a very Venetian book; I hope to rea I love late James, but there's also a lot to be said for this sweet spot in the middle period. Also a very Venetian book; I hope to read it in Venice one day.
Unfortunately, it's hard to take seriously the idea that a literary critic would get this excited about the personal papers of a nineteenth century American poet. What could you possibly learn? I just pretended it was actually about Gerard Manley Hopkins. Pela arte prosadora de Henry James? I'm sorry for it, but there's no baseness I wouldn't commit for Jeffrey Aspern's sake. At the beginning of the novella, the narrator discovers that Juliana Bordereau, to whom the poet addressed some of his most beaut 'Hypocrisy, duplicity are my only chance.
At the beginning of the novella, the narrator discovers that Juliana Bordereau, to whom the poet addressed some of his most beautiful love poems, is still alive, a very old lady who lives with a niece in a dilapidated house in Venice.
Not unreasonably, he suspects Miss Bordereau of having mementoes possibly even love letters from the poet , and since a colleague of his has already established that she won't part with them the regular way, he inveigles his way into her house as a lodger. And then he waits -- waits for an opportunity to get his hands on the papers, or to get hold of them some other way. In many respects, The Aspern Papers is an ideal book for people who dislike James, or think they do.
A product of his middle period, it doesn't feature the late-period characteristics with which so many people associate him: The Aspern Papers is neither ponderous nor obscure.
It's a perfectly straightforward and easy-to-read story about hope and obsession and where they will lead us. As is often the case with James, it's also about people using each other, but exactly who is using whom here is unclear. Indeed, a case could be made for all three leads using each other, which adds a bitter dimension to the tale. And it's a pretty bitter story to begin with -- dark and cynical with a bit of well-handled tragedy thrown in for good measure.
Reading The Aspern Papers is an interesting experience. It's quite fascinating to follow the narrator's progress, seeing him plot, attempt to justify his actions, pity himself and check himself whenever he's aware that he is about to do something which may ruin his chances.
He's a calculating monster, but in a way you want him to succeed, both because you feel he deserves something for his efforts and because he has to put up with two very difficult women to get at the papers. For Juliana and her niece are difficult. The former poet's mistress has turned into a cynical, sarcastic and avaricious old lady, and as for her niece, Miss Tina, well, she's a bit of a simpleton, albeit an interesting one the narrator nastily describes her as 'a piece of middle-aged female helplessness'.
So how should the narrator go about dealing with them? How should he manipulate them into giving him what he wants? Jeffrey Aspern never offered any advice on that , so the narrator is left to find out for himself. But of course the women have an agenda of their own, and it doesn't necessarily match his. As a story about academic obsession, The Aspern Papers is a bit too detached to leave a lasting impression.
However, as a story about cold ambition and ruthlessness -- about the corrupting influence of want and need -- it's very successful. It's an intense and suspenseful novella with a few short bursts of melodrama, some near-gothic moments and an impressive, well-written ending.
If it's a tad light-weight by James' later standards, I daresay there will be readers who will consider that a good thing. I know I do. In my weaker moments. View all 10 comments. Jul 25, Nalnac rated it really liked it.
In a Romantic scolar named Marion Kingston Stocking, came across a series of notebooks. Those notebooks were the transcription of the conversations that took place in Florence between Edward Silsbee a retired american sea capitan and the legendary seventy year old Clair Clairmont. Miss Clairmont needs no introduction; her life itself is a remarkable statement to female freedom.
Shelley's secon In a Romantic scolar named Marion Kingston Stocking, came across a series of notebooks. Shelley's second wife , close friend and confidant of P. Shelley, for a short period of time Lord Byron's lover and subsequently mother of his child Allegra. Her life was definitely shaped and inextricably linked to those people.
Claire Clairmont never produced a work of writing like her prolific group of friends, BUT her letters and diaries help us shape today, the figure of the young Romantics so loved by generation of readers. At the death of Lord Byron, Shelley, and Keats, many of their "friends" run to produced detailed biographies to set the "truth" straight about these remarkable writers. In the name of posterity, "truth" and fame for themself , these supposed friends, have left today revealed inaccurate tales of glorious pasts, and last words.
Claire Clairmont was not one of them. Although she was much more of an insider compared to some that barely knew the Romantics comes to mind Trelawny, who managed to secure his grave beside the on of Shelly, having known him barely more than 9 months before his death , she never made lucre of it.
Her "papers" were not revealed. The last years of Clairmont's life, were spent in Florence, cared for by her niece Pauline, till her death in It's here in Florence that -the ardent Shelley devotee- Silsbee, tried without success to buy her papers. It is rumored that the "price" demanded, included the marriage to Claire's nice Pauline.
A decade after her death, Henry James heard the story and used it as the basis for The Aspern Papers. James remarkable novel alters some of the settings and names Venice for Florence, Miss Bordeau for Claire Clairmont and Aspern for Byron , but portraits nevertheless a vivid impression of an unnamed obsessed American editor desperate to get hold of personal documents of the deceased Romantic poet, Jeffrey Aspern.
If anyone could have told that story, that is James. His writing has the gift to portrait nuances, psychology, and images like no one else.
Short but highly enjoyable. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe. His plots centered on personal relationships, the proper exercise of power in such relationships, and other moral questions.
His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allowed him to explore the phenomena of consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting.
James insisted that writers in Great Britain and America should be allowed the greatest freedom possible in presenting their view of the world, as French authors were. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to realistic fiction, and foreshadowed the modernist work of the twentieth century.
Inspired by the romance between Lord Byron and his mistress Claire Claremont, who in her dotage jealously guarded the poems written by Byron in her honor. He had nothing to fear from us because he had nothing to fear from the truth, which alone at such a distance of time we could be interested in establishing. His early death had been the only dark spot in his life, unless the papers in Miss Bordereau's hands should perversely bring out others. There had been an impression about that he had "treated her badly," just as there had been an impression that he had "served," as the London populace says, several other ladies in the same way.
Each of these cases Cumnor and I had been able to investigate, and we had never failed to acquit him conscientiously of shabby behavior. I judged him perhaps more indulgently than my friend; certainly, at any rate, it appeared to me that no man could have walked straighter in the given circumstances. These were almost always awkward.
Half the women of his time, to speak liberally, had flung themselves at his head, and out of this pernicious fashion many co. The Aspern Papers is a novella written by Henry James, originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in , with its first book publication later in the same year.
One of James' best-known and most acclaimed longer tales, The Aspern Papers is based on the letters Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Mary Shelley's step sister, Claire Clairemont, who saved them until she died.
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The Aspern Papers Ebook 50,97MB The Aspern Papers Ebook Looking for The Aspern Papers Ebook Do you really need this document of The Aspern Papers Ebook It takes me 52 hours just to find the right download link, and another 3 hours to. The Aspern Papers is a novella written by Henry James, originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in , with its first book publication later in the same year.