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The Aspern Papers

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❶View all 24 comments. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe.

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View all 4 comments. Aug 06, Lynne King rated it liked it Shelves: I have very mixed feelings about this novella.

So I decided upon this book as there are only eighty pages and it seemed as good a place as ever to start. I went in the month of December, many years ago, with an aged aunt which did not auger well. We were also ripped off by a gondolier who nearly dropped my Aunt into the foul-smelling canal! The backdrop of Venice seems to be far more enticing in this book than when I was exposed to it. She turns out to be a wiley individual, who surprises our narrator by being money-oriented and manages to extract 1, francs a month for three months from the elusive lodger.

He in turn entices them with the prospect of a garden abundant with flowers, as Tina loved them, and in his efforts to further ingratiate himself with the pair, starts delivering the cut blooms to their apartment in the palazzo. This book is about choice and intrigue more than anything and that is the amusing thread that permeates it.

I kept on getting the feeling that each individual was trying to outdo the other and the most successful person being? His greed for the papers is uppermost in his mind. Prior to coming to live in the palazzo he had told his friend Mrs Prest that he is prepared: Is his ambition so great to get his wish granted?

As for the twist at the end, well this is where the choice comes in but which way will our narrator go? How ambitious is he really? Did I like this book? I have ambivalent feelings and so I will go middle of the road. View all 26 comments. Originally published in , this short novel reads like a contemporary mystery or thriller.

James' prose is beautiful and complex like many of his peers of the day, but does not feel as weighted down. In fact, the use of candles and other time indicators aside, one could easily convince me Aspern was recently written by one of today's better writers.

To be sure, James writes suspense and surprise endings as well as any genre author. If you've read Turn of the Screw, this won't come as a surpri Originally published in , this short novel reads like a contemporary mystery or thriller. If you've read Turn of the Screw, this won't come as a surprise. All told, if you are a genre reader who is looking to introduce classic literature into your reading, you could do worse than to start here. Also, literature readers looking for a quick beach read that will still make you look more erudite than Sidney Sheldon, Henry James' Aspern Papers might fit the bill.

Aug 30, Ben Loory rated it really liked it. View all 7 comments. Por un lado, lo amo porque convierte argumentos que parecen ser simples sean realistas o no en una historia de suspenso. Por el otro, lo odio por sus finales y porque siempre hay algo que no nos cuenta, algo que subyace a las palabras o se escapa entre ellas. Los papeles de Aspern intriga, a pesar de que gire demasiado sobre un mismo eje para mi gusto, lo agota y sea predecible.

No merece menos de un 3. Y Tita es una muchacha ingenua, encerrada en una casa grande demasiado opresiva. Casi desde el principio, los intereses de los personajes se hacen demasiado evidentes porque ellos mismos se encargan de explicitarlos. View all 8 comments. Pare che in casa sia conservato il carteggio amoroso fra Juliana e il poeta. Apr 25, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: Chilling, elegant, and dark.

Aug 06, Sketchbook rated it it was amazing. To get what you want, would you pay a price -- or bolt? James handles the sexuality v sedately, as expected. But it's compelling nonetheless. And sex is a metaphor for Anything. I've now read 3xs. Oct 24, Jeanette rated it really liked it. To be completely honest I would not have continued this off and on 5 pages at a time, I must admit if it had been many more pages than the novella length shorty that it is.

People complain about Faulkner sentence structure and length! Not normal English in any modern sense of how you define "normal". Some passages are so obtuse that after reading and rereading I still only got a nuance for mood or tone and not a To be completely honest I would not have continued this off and on 5 pages at a time, I must admit if it had been many more pages than the novella length shorty that it is.

Some passages are so obtuse that after reading and rereading I still only got a nuance for mood or tone and not any concrete definitive information that would contain some noun. Let alone to approach a "meaning".

Did people, do people read this kind of language for FUN? But all told, it's dead spot on to put the reader well into the exact emotive and speculative atmospheres here between these 3 people. What a slimy user our critic is! By the end of the work, I couldn't stand him or his immense arrogance. Enough about the ploy and the plot in this thing. What really made my day in the reading was thinking of Paola Brunetti of Leon's series during most of it.

And her Venice and that so familiar arrogance- yet in a much more present time. Only those of you who have read all of those Guidi Brunetti police fare series will probably understand this persistent overlay of print copy personalities. Yes, it is rather a sick symptom. When you read too much- it is often that the classics fare that pales. Oh yes, I can certainly see the endless snob appeal in this for Paola and how she reigns most regally on the top floors with a Henry James book consistently in her hand.

Dec 19, Jon rated it it was amazing. As a Goodreads friend says, this has the pace and timing of a detective novel. It also has a somewhat ghoulish narrator who is intent on convincing himself and the reader that he is not greedy and amoral in his relentless search for some suspected revelatory "papers" of a poet of whose work he is a published scholar.

He almost convinces himself that some fairly pitiless actions on his part are actually noble scholarly efforts in the advancement of knowledge. The descriptions of the two old ladie As a Goodreads friend says, this has the pace and timing of a detective novel. The descriptions of the two old ladies he befriends--you might almost say seduces--of their palace in Venice, and of Venice itself are amazing in their delicacy.

A good place to start if you're interested in reading this formidable author. View all 3 comments. Un Henry James d'annata, una Venezia sublime e decadente, una storia tra il mistery e la follia, scritto in modo sempre impeccabile, mai sopra le righe Il finale mi ha sorpreso, molto pacato, molto vittoriano, molto Henry James! Then I start reading, and remember that not only is he a master of the written word, but he is accessible, perhaps especially so in this short novella which I finished in a couple of days - good going for a slow reader such as myself.

The story is simple, man ado 4. The story is simple, man adores dead poet and wants to get his mitts on the letters he wrote to an ex, who is very old and lives in Venice with her niece —ta da! But of course, this is James whose characters are rarely so simple and who conjures up a sense of place so effortlessly.

Ultimately, there is one question running through the book; will the narrator get the letters or not? Regardless of the answer, the reading pleasure is not in question; biased though I may be, I would recommend this for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the Henry James oeuvre.

Just wanted to share this quote that has as much resonance now, as it did back in The focus is the Papers and the obsession they inspire. Aug 30, Ben Rutter rated it liked it. Oct 08, kabukigal rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am truly smitten with the unreliable narrators that populate Henry James' novels. They bring to mind how all of us are the unreliable narrators of our own lives. It's hard to quantify just how worthy the object of the narrator's obsession is, b I am truly smitten with the unreliable narrators that populate Henry James' novels.

It's hard to quantify just how worthy the object of the narrator's obsession is, but it doesn't matter, as the narrator really won't let anything interfere with his fantasy of the idol's perfection. As a reader, I felt like a pseudo- therapist, trying to add up all of the narrator's inconsistencies of thought, speech and actions --no easy task, as the narrator is so dedicated to his obsession that he seems to allow himself little time for other emotions or pursuits.

I found the three main characters deliciously complex; I was fascinated that none of them could easily be defined, and yet I sympathized with each at different times during the story. Feb 02, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: For once the book Blurb here on GR does a good job of prefacing this book, so I won't take the time to repeat that.

If you like Henry James verbose yet provocative writing style, then you won't be disappointed. James was fond of this short novel, ranking it ahead of The Turn of the Screw. The use of Venice as the setting for this novel was a nice touch that fit this story perfectly. Jun 27, Elena rated it it was amazing. 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. Full Cast and Crew. Period movies, series and mini series.

Edit Cast Credited cast: Morton Vint Vanessa Redgrave Juliana Bordereau Joely Richardson Miss Tina Lois Robbins Jeffrey Aspern Poppy Delevingne Signora Colonna Morgane Polanski Young Juliana Nicolas Hau The Romantic Poet Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Edit Storyline A young writer tries to obtain romance letters a poet sent to his mistress. Edit Details Official Sites:

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The Aspern Papers was surprisingly good book to me. The premise is pretty original. The narrator (who remains nameless) is a scholar obsessed with the late Romantic American poet /5(33).

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A minor masterpiece, The Aspern Papers is perhaps not so familiar to nonaficionados of James as “The Beast in the Jungle” or The Turn of the Screw. Combining intrigue, seduction, and James’s. The Aspern Papers Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for The Aspern Papers is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.. Ask Your Own Question.

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Set in Venice in , Morton Vint (JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS), an ambiguous young writer fascinated by iconic romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern (JON KORTAJARENA), strives to get his hands on the letters Director: Julien Landais. 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 /5.