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The Golden Bowl (1904)

af Henry James

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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Golden Bowl is an intense, involved study of marriage, adultery and family ties. The central characters are a man and his daughter and James delves into their consciousness to explore the complexity of their relationship to each other and their respective spouses. The novel is often considered the completion of the "major phase" of James' career.

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Engelsk (23)  Spansk (4)  Alle sprog (27)
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Adam Verver, un rico viudo norteamericano retirado de los negocios, recorre Europa con su hija Maggie comprando y coleccionando antigüedades. Cuando Maggie conoce y se enamora de Americo, un príncipe romano rico en apostura y linaje, mas no en fortuna, su padre se lo "compra" como le ha comprado todo cuanto le ha gustado en la vida, al tiempo que él mismo adquiere, para sus segundas nupcias, una atractiva, y también pobre, muchacha norteamericana, Charlotte Stant. Charlotte es amiga de Maggie y es también amiga del Príncipe: su amistad con éste se remonta a un tiempo en que la pobreza parecía condenarlos a no unirse jamás. Ahora vuelven a encontrarse en el lujo y la holgura, pero si las antiguas trabas han desaparecido es sólo gracias a aquellos con quienes se han casado... Un espléndido juego de variaciones sobre las posibilidades de este singular ménage a quatre constituye y articula la que hubo de ser la última novela completa de Henry James, "un drama maravillosamente luminoso" en palabras de Gore Vidal, en el que el conocimiento es "tanto fascinación como temor".
  Natt90 | Apr 26, 2023 |
The Golden Bowl is another fascinating novel by Henry James. It must be said, though, that this novel is very difficult to read. Despite the fact that there are very few characters, basically only five, the long sentences, unusual turns of phrase, natural conversation and the use of pronouns call for very careful reading. The other thing is that there is not much of a plot, and very little action. Most chapters describe endless conversations, observations and contemplations

The symbolism of the golden bowl is difficult to understand. It seems the author has had an ideosyncratic idea of its symbolism, or the author's focus would be more on the binding through gilding while most readers focus on the (supposed) hidden flaw. This is borne out by the end of the story as the pairs choose to stay together, while the doubt remains till the very end.

This ending is also different from other novels by Henry James, where the conclusion is often a miserable state for the women. The Golden Bowl seems to be a novel that tests the expectations of the reader as much as of the characters, and perfection is found when least expected. ( )
1 stem edwinbcn | Jan 6, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote, in 2008, about reading this: "No clear memory of reading. Online reviews credit as somewhat typical James (American and European society relations and interations), although for once and finally, things turn out well for the characters. James could finally "make his peace" with America." (Reading the same month that Katie was born; small wonder that I don't recall reading!). ( )
  MGADMJK | Sep 3, 2022 |
The work of a genius. James suffered from writer's cramp, so we can imaging his dictating this to a dutiful and careful copier. Fantastically subtle language that, one feels, James has worked hard to perfect, produces a psychological awareness that is a new innovation in novel development.
And it is at root an American novel, where monied wealth wins out. Father and daughter win. Power out wits Love.
  ivanfranko | Jul 29, 2022 |
This was a very difficult book to read. Rather good, but very much in a "you must read between the lines" sort of way. The book was full of multipage paragraphs of internal reflection and conversations with shade upon shade of meaning. I think I would have liked it better if I had read more by James. It is, apparently, his last and most difficult novel. I will have to reread it someday.
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
James, Henryprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bannister, PhilipIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Cazenove, ChristopherNarratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Donoghue, DenisIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Gandara, AlejandroForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kellgren, KatherineFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Prebble, SimonFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stevenson, JulietFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Tóibín, ColmForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
The St. Charles PlayersFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Vidal, GoreIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Vidal, GoreForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Yeazell, Ruth BernardRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The Prince had always liked his London, when it had come to him; he was one of the modern Romans who find by the Thames a more convincing image of the truth of the ancient state than any they have left by the Tiber.
Among many matters thrown into relief by a refreshed acquaintance with 'The Golden Bowl' what perhaps most stands out for me is the still marked inveteracy of a certain indirect and oblique view of my presented action; unless indeed I make up my mind to call this mode of treatment, on the contrary, any superficial appearance not withstanding, the very straightest and closest possible. (Preface)
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Mr. Gutermann-Seuss proved, on the second day - our friend had waited till then - a remarkably genial, a positively lustrous young man occupying a small neat house in a quarter of the place remote from the front and living, as immediate and striking signs testified, in the bosom of his family. Our visitors found themselves introduced, by the operation of close contiguity, to a numerous group of ladies and gentlemen older and younger, and of children larger and smaller, who mostly affected them as scarce less anointed for hospitality and who produced at first the impression of a birthday party, or some anniversary gregariously and religiously kept, though they subsequently fell into their places as members of one quiet domestic circle, preponderantly and directly indebted for their being in fact to Mr. Gutermann-Seuss.
“His relation to the things he cares for is absolutely romantic.... it’s the most romantic thing I know.”
“You mean his idea for his native place?”
“Yes – the collection, the Museum with which he wishes to endow it, and of which he thinks more, as you know, than of anything in the world. It’s the work of his life and the motive of everything he does.... You’re a part of his collection ... You’re a rarity, an object of beauty, an object of price.... You’re what they call a morceau de musée.”
Representative precious objects, great ancient pictures and other works of art, fine eminent “pieces” in gold, in silver, in enamel, majolica, ivory, bronze, had for a number of years so multiplied themselves round him and, as a general challenge to acquisition and appreciation, so engaged all the faculties of his mind, that the instinct, the particular sharpened appetite of the collector, had fairly served as a basis for his acceptance of the Prince’s suit.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Golden Bowl is an intense, involved study of marriage, adultery and family ties. The central characters are a man and his daughter and James delves into their consciousness to explore the complexity of their relationship to each other and their respective spouses. The novel is often considered the completion of the "major phase" of James' career.

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