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The Sentence Structure of Henry James Author(s): R. W. Short Source: American Literature, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1946), pp.

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Matthiessen's (March. to the artistic intentions of James. exactly embodiedhis intentions.Beach goeson to say: "But thewordsof James are the suitable dressof his subjectmatter. Beach realized thatJames's style(in the narrowsense).that Jamesmarredhis-early versionsby revision. the discussthe styleof James. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .94. The tradiis at present polemicaland cannotwith impunity still persists. analyzedand accounted T subject revisions is not dealt withhere. 1924). W.and the sentence. attempting acteristics mentioned of the story to the "jealous discipline itself. convoluted that sentences bearso unmistakably the hallmark of James to be require carefully for. hasoffered This content downloaded from 146. SHORT Holstra College so richa fieldto critics thattheyhave hurried past the word. far frombeing a surface eccentricity. thoughby so doing theyhave left almostunexploredthe characteristic obtrudes of Jamesthat first upon the noticeof the reader. like most of the good critics. In The Method of Henry James Beach explainedthat he would have littleoccasion"to Professor in detailthe vocabulary.In the footnote from whichI havequoted. investigation of The Portrait of a Lady.but the rangy. to consider turnof thephrase.33 on Sun. of RoderickHudson." thatis. And his styleis pretty well keptin order. to relateall charof i9oi to The GoldenBowl of I904.155. '944). 203-227 Helene Harvitt'sstudyof the revisions prior to F.forthe reasonthatthissubject ne of James's be treated exceptat length. of the narrower aspects of the Jamesian prose. 0.THE SENTENCE STRUCTURE OF HENRY JAMES R. 6 n." In thispaperI shallmakesomeobservations upon sentence strucin ture thenovelsof James's from The SacredFount greatest period. XXXIX. thestructure of the sentence" (p. fromconsideraomitting tionthosehe maysharewiththe writing at large. the phrase.). in Henry James. He did minimizethe importance not. in all his narratives. PMLA.however.it vitiates tional notion.' Tle profession in his prose thatare simpleand direct(some do exist) sentences need no specialmention. by the jealous discipline of the story itself. in thebroader sense. THE STYLE of Henry James. the only extendedstudyof James'srevisions the Major Phase (New York.

But sentences. abbreviations the following W. G. for The Ambassadors.First.For example:"He prolonged he had quittedhis chair.94. K.and 36. numberof word groupsthatmighthave been treated there were33 such groupsin thechapter. (New Haven.72 American Literature is the length noticein the styleof HenryJames What we first on this pointwe may begin our of his sentences.. and the upshot after diate neighborhood. word separately.7 wordswhen countedup breaks(whereperiodsmighthave been used to actualgrammatical show that these in place of lesserpunctuation). the clauses are not strictly that theyare part of a single "and" mustbe taken as indicating the "and" acts as a vague markof punctuathought. The following sentences a splenof Book Second of The Ambassadors. for The Wingsof the Dove. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1941). 63 and n. 82). As was apparently a punctuation loose with together strung also James the Ramblers.33 on Sun.indicating mightseem better hiatus betweentwo thoughts that. There are 44 such looselyconnected expressed groupsin the chapter. "He had wantedto puthimself even though if he were not in relation. and S.I. forThe Sacred are to theMacmillaneditionof 1923.for clarity.' It will be seenthattheuse of "and" in thissentence followsit: that immediately is much looser than in the sentence and he would be hanged in relation. Wimsatt. complete than this. D. Fount. in theimmeconjunctions. If we add themto the word groupscon2 Quoted by W.some standardof comparison will serveas well as another. only a desireon the partof the authorto avoid a tion. Johnson average5I. F.my countingrevealedan even larger more significant loose use of by an extremely numberof word groupsconnected it a little. and Dr. the secondchapter The i96 and reflection. B. In the first.2 have been made on calculations of James. It has been estiup. the parallel in meaningor structure. forThe GoldenBowl. and complexity should be set investigation. ' Throughout. Other estimates are not undulylong as comparedwith variousstandard sentences the in mindwe mayappiroach With thesefacts Englishwritings. All page references This content downloaded from 146. forhim was thathis campaignhad begun" of the whole morning (Amb.3wordswhen in thischapter have an averagelength sentences in trueof Johnson countedup to the period. as separate.155. The Prose Styleof Samuel Johnson p." In the second instance. passageof mixed narration didlywritten Of35.4 words in the earlyRamblers matedthatthe sentences when countedup to the period. will be used: Amb.

are loosely between a complexity thatis notof idea.of Henry lames The SentenceStructure 73 alone.James's grammatical its own finite the sentence.94.are considerably tencesof James. thereare not abovehalfa dozen was fortheloose sentence. long and complex.and the smaller in relatively and parentheses. find-namely.althoughthe sentences reducethe word average.but mostof his distortions comwith a generalartistic in conformity single. we might therefore.155.broad principle. he habitually and that for reasonsto be discussed. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . curiosity. well down in the scale of Englishprose. Obviously. or 273 insteadof I96 "sentences" groups.however.we have 77 additionalgrammatically nectedby punctuation in the chapter.each ofwhichmayhave.difficult by patchcomposedin small units.33 on Sun. habitually concludethatJames linesof investiideas.More valuable observations. clausesand make another then. throws by James.complexity tence. In spiteof the long. The senThe averagelengthof these"sentences" than those of shorter it seems. Johnson to emerge. begin however. into his smaller meanings brokedown complex deliberately units. lection amongthe I96 we have been disperiodicsentences grammatically constructhereare surprisingly fewsubordinate cussing.that violentdischargeof a mindfulof ideas. the Jamesian ideas are expressible James's sentence does not possess. butof relationship to form an in a idea sentence expresses Johnson whereas a by long ideas. complete is 25.within intorelationship predistructure. connection of normal elements This content downloaded from 146. Further a succession of "brief" ing together what we way of describing suggesta preferable gation. sentences. The kind of. word groups small numbers of words. complexgrammatical a number of ideas. tions. the are of a kind thatevade or obliterate pulsion. Similarly.3 words.in one sense. into their If we were to divide the regularcompoundsentences we shouldagain considerably calculation. of James seemformidably senby the Johnsonian possessed not so. withmanyinterjections linkedtogether. a long sentence structure. as thespectrum of the The violenceJameswreakedupon the normalstructure to be tabutoo various in form sentences produced Englishsentence seem to have been dictated by a lated. breaksdown therayof light. theyare. The distortions unhe has When and cohesion. and hencerather Johnson betweenaverageword lengthin James The mere comparison of littlebeyondthe gratification accomplishes and in Dr. By contrast.

7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .B. thatthe stylistic It follows. of a notfrom too muchrepetition mustarise. laws. In second Charlotte with ownrelationship the example. painful thispainful forthePrince. 221) In thefirst of"together" theawkward gives it an position example.as in the two examples appreciated: adore than elsehowthey more "How canI notfeel together anything I. parent. sanction enables himto find moral for his which is this relationship the Stant. in herlifethatthishad happened. in the are to be found whichthispaperwill consider.74 AmericanLiterature grammatically -float untethered. takeformonotony prose in which effort ofreading butfrom themere chosen pattern. at every instant ofit. reflects thecogitations of Milly sentence awkward. havebeencircumvented. Sincetheyare to a intentions and conclusions fluid.155.where tohave known before. to comprehension many oftheusualhelps of James's peculiarities therefore. is endless. sentences. order.No writer whatwe maymisstructure. above. or onlypartly apparent. to herfather has relation almost and his wife's emphasis. ready characteristic apparent Perhaps thenextmost of their prevalence. The finality. be can easily thatfollow. he used in contriving his almost sentences. In these remain tentative. they theyare. like particles defining reorder and signs thatordinary sentence crystallization. in colloidal speaking. facts ofother peculiar evanescent.D. sentences. so consistently English to his artistic infortheviolations are related lateit.It exactly who is speaking.33 on Sun. devices agrammatical The devices havealand loosepunctuation of weak conjunctions and an estimation beenmentioned withan example. foregone in favor uponprose has beenskilfully lationship bestow values. hadn't been (W. His reasons are notapthey tentions. emphasis.A purist might doeshe vioof thenormal sentence order. sentence ofJames's is hisconsistent disregard ofnormal style hadever heard Sentence wonder ifJames Order. bothin detailand in gross. groping equally This content downloaded from 146. the suspension. 274) my boy?" (G... their variety ofgrammatical freed from thelimitations degree itbe Joyce or Gerunless wasever lessguilty.so that shewasnowsuddenly a life.94. trude of monotonous sentence Stein. time It was thefirst somebody. I. everybody appeared that abletoputit toherself that shewas. his meanings donetheusual ties. Sometimes when in thesentences themselves.

33 on Sun. One must. I. solitude. We share the world. of on tiptoe. through corridors.The SentenceStructure of Henry lames Thealeand suggests thegroping outof which herrevelation "suddenly" comes. Nor doesthecontext of the us to an intuition sentence ofsuchextreme encourage negativeness in Strether as thisline of interpreting wouldlead to.94. not withthe feeling (Amb. investing ourattention-tender makes an interest that himwith indeed almost to isolation. As we see. are the parenthetical expressions breaks ofmany downthecontinuity which ofhisstatements. tortuous almost hisquietflight. point alliedto sentence sincetheir interParenthcscs. none for thehour. Other writers depart..pernotto think hapsit is better of it as emphasis so muchas greatly extended plasticity of structure. this theless." Out of context.. from normal order to secure butnotquiteas James emphasis. thefact very said. at Perhaps to someextent and himself is suggested of "then" pulling together bytheposition "at last. thepeculiar nature of which-andthereasons forit-mustbe inferred from thecontext. as he would have for fact ofhisstriking. at once concede so of thecommoner refined often lackstheexplosive force kind. in search Another example maysendus further afield of reasons:"He pulledhimself then at lasttogether hisownprogress for thathe had takenhis walk in vain" back. Closely order. Here three "at elements are out of place:"then. thisis an achievement morecommon in poetry than in prose. James on every instances One finds page. with Mr. 82). 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 18 This content downloaded from 146. We must artistic lookinstead ourdisto thegross purpose. hasdone. havelittle Strether's effort justification. iii) compassion-qualify 6 Vol.Let us continue under thenext device cussion ofthis to be considered.James often so misordered his sentence thatthenew alignment ofelements created notonly theemphasis butsome definition of it. perhaps frequently. bythe in litotes with which the sentence trails defiance dangling off of thepositive noteof theactualsense." it is certainly overdone butif thisis thepurpose. as a clause." "notwith curiously punctuated feeling thathe had taken his walkin vain." andthephrase.I. thatemphasis however. the last. Usually emphasis secured in thismanner is simple emphasis. with often ruptions destroy it.155.Verver. this thedeparture thenormal for from seems sentence to pleads revision. his achieved (GB.

situations likeStrether andtheVervers. 208) reservafortheinterpolated a reason In thefirst ofthese examples. provethenoteof Europein quitea at best.talked youunder?"(S. on theeveofhismomentous in The Sacred Fount. into ofhischaracters. hissense James is expressing itself. interesting certainties. the fallacy. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and thedemand must fully aimof in thereorientation. and so do themore speakthesamelooselanguage. his narrow-minded. particularly thatthereader be bornanew.I. tions within thesentence appears is qualified notonlyby itstime thatMr. notdesign any morethan states. already. share general maybe calledthemajor. 3) sufficient spoken to no one-has. ''magnificent" like the sentencesThe innumerable interpolations. partly this information he expresses thepresence ofsuch restrictions. many established frames ofreference no longer possess wherein previously a fresh forced to make environare to and they adaptation validity.you've that-if. These monomania ofthenarrator analytical of truth. priate characters. his characters mental werein equivalent a metaphor in thebeginning of"To be ornottobe" Hamlet mixed to convince the audience thathe was agitated.. Theirvery to moral epistemology ment. throughout. explanations.. finally persons. and the statements structure in whichthenarrative by a sentence themare hedgedaboutand broken between crisprelationships reservations.F. on Strether's Mixedwith everything was theapprehension.33 on Sun. to describe ingly in order us that to convince floating sentence primarily hisloose. we shallbe guilty ofwhathasbeencalledtheimitative confusof supposing must(or may) write thatan author fallacy did The truth is thatJames confusion. If we stophere. thatit would.Verver's hourof liberty of consciousness butbyhis and ourvery limits and quasi secrecy. the are only part however. "Andwho is it then as I maycall it.76 American Literature part. as yousay. vinced persons attain their evenas they illuminating. conclude thatthe destruction in theother conconnotes theinner functionally examples clarity and the embassage. fusion ofStrether. environment. parenthetic a larger to achieve aim. degree. downbythequalifying of simple We may. This content downloaded from 146. conbutthishe did notdo.155. This. James ofabnormal plunges attempt order.moreover.Had thatbeen fortheapprosucheffects he should havereserved James's purpose. (Amb.94.

the two from maydiffer treatment butone author's are notseparable. in a larger.and parenthetical for recombining should next requiresome evidenceof machinery we shouldlook fortheoperaelements.The secondorder thanthe first within betweenthe partsof the the of relationship is simply expression This content downloaded from 146.thereis it.Finally. of course. at all remarkable aboutthismeansof expressing nothing sincethey The secondand third orders maybe called structural. expandingreorganization. A tightsentence the of it in orderto recombine or a dissolution talesis lack of fixity. things of emphasis.155. xxi) and confident.ManytimesJames Emphasisupon Relating than objectsor even rather relationships us thathis novelspresent does not Strether of The Ambassadors.and thereby are expressed by grammatical thescopeof thisdiscussion.The SentenceStructure of Henry James 77 is a fixative-andthe subjectof James's his art.instead.And.33 on Sun. degrees in many respect by another's this being constantly of relationship orders three We maydistinguish of James. assures Expressions. in sentence tionof thismachinery matters of character. ardour. about the difficulty worry provenone might to his actualerrand signsin him thathisrelations of the simplest. The first-a the laterwritings emphasizedthroughout of relationstatements in explicit order-consists rhetorical simple." (Italics mine. clinging rather ardor. orunusualsentence of weak conjunctions. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . than the ardorof the youngpersonsthemselves.94. James wrote: withforce has beento suggest taskat theoutset accepted The author's introfirst persons thetwoyoung between thenature of thetie formed yet and baffled.we have the above howto his errand. fallmoredirectly means. of statement ship. people. pose he byno meansstandsalone. interruptions der. Strether's relation ever remarkable the relationis as the subjectof a novel. theeffect If we grant we in unsettling the sentences.) In the Prefaceto The Wingsof theDove. and its complicated It is the "tie" thathe will discuss.and theme. their freed as well as in the larger structure. plot.In thispurfixedelements. whatis uniquein him as a craftsworktowardthe man is his methodof makingthe prosesentence desiredend. As examplesof thisorder.therewere. In the beginning "early of his errand. worried ofitspeculiar duced-togivethefullimpression (P. We mustagreeat once that.

It is true.155.The sentences oftenseem to have been unthreaded and restrung forthe sole purposeof removing emphasisfromthe verbs nounsand active and throwing it instead words uponhumbler "There'snothing forme possible but to feelthatI'm of connection: not a fool" (W.. in the form as by James. His are morenumerous. and any writer if he wrotebeforeemphatic mightitalicizeit. 2I8) ". I. any readerwould allow it some emphasis.would have italicizedthe words chosenby Jamesfor special emphasisin the to say thatanother following sentences. particularly italics went out of fashion. James secures great emphasisfor these relatingelementsby two favorite devices: by the relating italicizing wordsand by the alreadydiscussedunconventional organization of his sentences. i8i). Even morefrequent thanthisemployment of italicsis theuse of abnormalsentence orderto secureemphasisupon wordsdenoting relationship. it might not be too extreme writer would have regarded thesewordsas almostthe last ones in the sentences to emphasize. 26) 'off' fear ofbeing without "Of myrealhonest someday.. he should have been therewith. 37) "Whatin theworld "I won'tbe left. thatwithout relationship. of parennarily the sentences thesesor interjections theymorefrequently interrupt This content downloaded from 146. Few writers." (S. . .33 on Sun. I..F. ofbeing wrong. 28) knowing "For anytiing in theway of a surprise. and as it might have been said. This arrangement stresses obviously "for"more than a conventional would do: "Nothing arrangement is possible forme butto feelthatI'm not a fool. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is he to us?" (W. of emphasis.The first of thesedevices is frequently employed. p. I.D.B. But onlyfrom you.D. 78).78 AmericanLiterature sentence. To distinguish the second preposition fromthe first." (G... II." (GB." The thirdorderof relating commonin James expressions conH sistsin expressions withina sentence which relatethatsentence to exand what will come after. it.94. The occurrences writings are not all of equal interestfor Chad" (Amb. Transitional what has gone before of thiskind are employed but not ordipressions by mostwriters. as a casual inspection of any of the later will reveal.. I. no sentence buthereagain it is a matter exists. of course. however.

. civilised age makingthe bestof an awkwardness" A brief thanthesepluckedexampleshow passagewill show better the expressions of which we are talkingoperatein a typical"conreviews the greatsubtilizer. I have italicized matters expressions. was sentence In the discussion of sentence orderthe following violationof what we regardas quoted as an instanceof James's the normalorderof the English sentence:"'How can I not feel myboy?"' The morethananything else how theyadore together felt..B.but of meanings:it relatesthe meaningof the sentence thatformthe complexof and subsequent meanings manyprevious the Prince'sconsciousness of his situation." Fanny Assingham. it all did from thefirst. But he goes in the relationship consists adoration is not the only of "together" further than that. The misplacing "more than of the sentence.94." (G.D. II. the antecedent has been goingon forsometime what but moregenerally sentence. This.is an expression to time. keeping natureof this he wants it to go."The reasonwas-into whichhe had Their variety of an hour-that just by theend of a quarter livedquiteintimately reoffered it now a kind of unexampled of theirsafety this truth ceptacle . "Theythemselves suggested a pair of the children of a super-always by Kate's system-than (W.and they contribute ture of his writing. . clause. I. proportion thefinal a position thatunnaturally postpones wordsand occupying notofpersons this of relationship.Structure of Henry iames The Sentetnce 79 to theunusualtexheavily in whichtheyoccur.33 on Sun. They seem to accomplishin a largerrange by the secondorderwe have just described. 266).I've thought "He has behaved beautifully-he This content downloaded from 146. in thenextexamplewill not The significance of the interjection be lost upon anyonewho recallsthe partplayedby Kate Croy in nothing worse The WingsoftheDove. It will be noticedthatthe transitional qualityof the linkingphrasesin the above example or connective is not a word.155. In is immediately emphasisupon "together" extraordinary where our attention directs James forcibly withhis purpose. therelating withherhusband. what is accomplished is considerable..or is grammatically vague. to the fact that the significant of the adorers. i8i).phrase. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . past.too. The adverbialexpression peculiarity locatedin else" seemsremarkably long and emphatically anything as it does of four consisting to the restof the meaning. versation piece.

not epitomized.suspendedmeaning.155. in diagrams cal elements the referare indistinct. Yet theexpressions up to thepresent achieved or situation are truly connectivesrather than summaries.. unit one of therelationship we discover With numerous exceptions.andI've morethanonce whenI've had a chance along wonderful therefore-!" Butit diedawayas shemused." of couirse "It isn'ta question of their doingas they apart.F. of the material thechemilike the armsconnecting direction. achievedis merely a chainof links. To this also thereare some excepdiffers in the proseof James so radically tions. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . quoted above. in whichthe linksmayrepresent one. visible.as "thewaters the terms." (GB."of went sheundivertedly however.33 on Sun. 248) better-if all then A finalexampleof thisdevicemustbe given: "'You after butmost now don't?"' (S.Using different becomes thatis. "Therefore on. sionsextendin every as in mostof the of molecules. In these. what has been referred to. one wouldsay. each likewisetied to the preceding ing one.. expresis connective.link by link. not everysentence of sentences. accretion.With each new unita fresh organic. p.notonlytheemphasis.the should do? The less they they when together yousee so muchin it.the antecedents expressions of a character entstendto includeall of the complexconsciousness moment. progresses of argument. fora change. thefigure of talkspreada little. then. I. if of orientation unitstend to containelements of not all.8o AmericanLiterature ofhim.to kickup hisheels?" he hasa right. of thiskind of the effect narrator of The Sacred Fount describes to to meaning:"It could not but be exciting in itsrelation writing.and along withother are characteristic But such sentences to his prose the peculiar qualities (especiallydiction) contribute revealed in a gradually joinssentence texture. resembles Good conventional prosestructurally each tiedto theprecedsentences.theorderly unitby tracing withan earlier New muchlesssimply.the meaningexpandsin a process atomjoins theringof fluid. This content downloaded from 146." whole.The proseof James with a greatdeal.thewhole carpet. Therefore. chain back." is another whentogether-which should "that askedwithinterest. or paragraphs.The relating of the sentence. Here. 248). toldhimso. structure fromwhat we regardas the conventional of him. thathas gone before.As sentence Jamesian in thecarpet.94."theColonel "Andhow do youthink do. It's a question beautifully behaving their matter.

Other sentences more stubbornly resistour parsing.F. In what has gone beforewe have seen some exdevices used by James amplesofdifferent to breakdown theorderly tightness of Englishprose. "So beautifully" obviously modifies "knew". Sometimes. Maria Gostrey. however.which seemto growslightly morenumerous in thelaterbooks.. servesas a however. for othersentences pattern whereinthe cogencyof the devicesis not so immediately felt. as a Jesuit in petticoats-thesubject. Stylization. 203). you glowed over it so.Waymarsh." thatthe second"he" refers bility to "companion" as its antecedent. fortheir companion. In so far as theymay be closelyidentified with his purposes. the effect Rhetorically. .155.Many of the sentences.'so beautifully.F. remains.parsingthemis something of a struggle. disembodied overthesituahovering entity tion. yetit can be done.. that sentence." (Amb. p.. Does Strether have the consciousness thatWaymarsh has the consciousness of Miss Gos. I. The when this styleof sentence stage is reached. "He had quite theconsciousness of his new friend. James'ssentences are occasionallygrammatically ambiguous. its force continues to attachpartly to "glowed.skilfully avoidstellingus exactly who had the consciousness of the new friend.wherethe stylereachesits highestpoint of development. "'And you the."where we first applyit. theirgrammar appearingonly after a secondreading. At thispointit seemsconvenient to emhe might have had of a Jesuitin petticoats. one mightsay.94. 35). 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .trey as a Jesuit in petticoats? Or does Strether alone have the consciousness. on thebasisof thosesuppressed processes and unavowed references whichmade the meaningof our meeting so different from itsform"(S.as we talked. thismorning!'" (S.sense of ambiguity knew.are difficult. Doubtlesseveryreaderhas noticedexamples. or the companion. givenis of a "consciousness" detachedfrom either like a individual. afterparsinghas relievedthe technicaldifficulty.Strether. 212). no othertermis needed to denominate them. nevertheless. . while Waymarsh has something else.33 on Sun. This This content downloaded from 146. thesedevicesgo fartowardconstituting the author's style.The SentenceStructure of HenryJames talk. sayan intuition?Grammatically thedifficulty arises thefloatfrom ing natureof thephrase"fortheir and from thepossicompanion. p. of course.'I sighed. Ambiguity.

I. wasa modeofappreas well as an arrangement hension of words. undoubtedly perceived by James. ofFordMadoxFord. .Theirtexture stands outin boldrelief against theprose with which they are associated. The first I62 pages. for one except difficult reads more likeE. The Prince hadalways liked hisLondon. theopening of this novelsecedes thebulkof it. are thecreatures they of different texture and different timbre. confessed to an especialadmiration Although James for the ofThe Wings opening oftheDove. exposition. he wasoneoftheModern Romans whofind bytheTlamesa more convincing ofthetruth image oftheancient state than anythey haveleft bythe Tiber. intothedense. we find a fewpassages written in a style comparatively free from deliberate grammatical breaches.In The Wings ofthe Dove we find a muchlonger of comparatively passage straightforwardprose. 3) Heretheproblem is simple andthestyle. themagnificent containing presentation of Kate Croyin herfather's house. from alin thecharacter though nothing ofthefirst is inconsistent with the character of thesecond. Forster. force against thewhelming tideoftherest. TherearetwoKate Croys. ing shifts nubilous he actually did style prefigured. areso fewpassages mayexplain whythere liketheopening in the laterwritings of James. contains noneofthese sadors.33 on Sun. develop. It doesnotfit therest of the it cannot sustain itsindubitable work. suggests thekindof writing James havedonehad he chosen might to develop thestyle in which he wrote The Europeans.94. (G. butit does notexplain are so whythere This content downloaded from 146.rather thewritabruptly. . 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . straightforward. Thesepassages develop thenarrative and character portrayal in a relatively sharp.. as we admire a Miltonic digression. than likeHenry James.82 AmericanLiterature ployanother term to describe whatis happening. with a reminiscence sentence. for James. fast-moving manner.155. ofdry land. . This slightincompatibility. when ithadcome tohim. about three pageslong.hisfavorite The Ambasnovel. M. some reluctance.Andbecause style. Then.The GoldenBowl begins withsucha passage. Andalthough fragments we cannot butadmire this we do so with opening.B. and to speakof thesecond lotofsentences as undergoing stylization. In themature writings ofJames.

Marloweexperimented concept the verisimilitude. when nothing the fullresources his of Shakespeare's baroqueblankversecan serve are of courseexaggerated the flight from purposes. hoping to make Wagner talk like a neophyte.and becomeabsorbed in.It can be arguedthatShakespeare. is led into these commonrealismis extreme. attuned to thestyle thatis. We are awareoftheshockof unplanned in such a workas Marlowe'sDoctorFaustus.of stylization. in treatment.thisis an into. mightdo whydoes he almostuniformly employit when a simpler device.he mustbe fully in whichthemostcomwill be uttered. that. In his greatplaysthe messengers and otherbusimorearty. When the listener his feetmustnot be draggingon the commonearth.155. and it is this incongruity muchas the otherwhichgivesFaustusitspatchwork effect. subsidiary dissociated terms. Thereplex of the play'svariouscommunications from whomwe couldwisha crisper foreeventhemessengers. expoin a fustianwhich. If the openingof The Wingsof the Dove failsto flowsmoothly of thenovel.to some thatof any of the major characters. The high moments. for as well. writings.94. whoseartrequires sucha highdegree clownslikeclowns.communicate whattheyhave to say.It is necessary but extent.was hyperconscious of thisproblem.The SentenceStructure of Henry James 83 of The few like the simplepassageof exposition in the beginning style GoldenBowl.if notbetter? This questioninvolves themaster suchit is. experiences. Granted thatJames had to use his characteristic when engagedin tasksforwhichno other style could equallyserve. An artist or Jamesknows he mustreas thatof Shakespeare of stylization This content downloaded from 146. theyshoulddo so. Perhaps dered in freely floating. thelater did Almost error thatJames often throughout are rencommunications the mostelementary. on the otherhand. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . wherethe incongruity mostbrilliant and high-flown blankverselies side by side withpassagesof vulgarcomedy. It is not enoughto say thatthe dramatic scenesand thecomicscenesare incongruous. Artdemandsconsistency of method. when relatedmerelyto sition.33 on Sun. theremainder not commit. in whichthe thestyles scenesare presented as are incongruous. grammatically withthe Renaissance of in Faustus.seemsridiculous. than nesscharacters often speak a languagemoreturgid. This simplecanon applies withparticular forceto methods thatdepartfromthe conventional in brilliance or peculiarity.

he did of course (and their however aredifferent. on writers byother recognized it has beenamply emerges ofhisstyle. are rarely thedifferentiae their similarities). hence stylization. his characters butto be. clearcut. his coercion to preserve maintained becausehe felta functional the speak Americans. as wellas bythemanner lished bythecontent perceptiin themore immediately had litde realinterest James over.Thatthedifferences byidioms suggested theimportant because partly can be true in speech. chatter of society Thus. are likeeachother. human.155. prism therefracting through dispersed oftalk. his artbeing individual differences. In so faras they their personality. in character use of hisstyle characteristic analytavidly refined.yetwe are rethatconstitutes Prince attitude balanced of disdelicately to viewherwitha most quired of moral results the disastrous when and admiration.94. differences outweigh though arefelt. areofperception andmoral differences Moreofdiscourse. notrepresented maybe estabwhich nature.33 on Sun. his naive his businessmen.84 AmericanLiterature one: he of a higher in favor of verisimilitude theconcept nounce oftheones to thespeech tunethespeech ofall hischaracters must purposes. he makes suchmeans to himan madepossible of James The characteristic stylization as here. theflawin thegolden bowl. The bestcase is that means it will be rememBowl. ical. use his style. ofanother effect artistic A beam James. and decadent patriates and those byno to thisrule. ofspeech. ble. I havefound fewexceptions very the"vilof Charlotte Stant. exbyhissuperrefined is spoken that grammatically samelanguage countesses. Charlotte Stant. educated.morepractically that from ofDickens. approbation This content downloaded from 146.in spiteof their novels in the James conversations theall-important portentousness. notonlyto suggest.By fidelity over takeprecedence must purposes to these goodhisstylization.Fidelity of his artistic withthe achievement entrusted to realism. incoherent and logically thevoluble in sucha way as to suggest awesome conversation. andwhimsicality. of The Golden lainess" and her of MaggieVerver in theaffairs therift provides bered. ofinformality measure large havea felicitously madeanyfurther James The nextquestion to ariseis whether In so faras delineation. mention I shallbarely which order. Butto some remove possible at thefurthest texture musthave been the uniformity of conversational degree. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

"comes back. thatCharaboutthegift hereis ostensibly Thoughthediscussion is reof hernature enough wedding." her. 265) in the world what dear. sister have and analyses events before start. I wanted youto understand. not selfish "She's said.of Henry James The SentenceStructure 85 magsheis still"utterly haveall beenmadeclear. If I asknothing I think. 268) This content downloaded from 146.or tinker to patch ofa meaning theexpression an produces The emotion hasled hertomisstate." her thanhe presented her to us moredramatically has presented her reveals herspeech partially because Kate Croy.Charlotte as wellas to thedevelopment hercharacter in retreats and constantly rush outherideasin an emotional pours ofit parts with. up. enough." Charlotte what "That's so modest. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I wanted of ornot. periods. thevery evenfrom nature. libertine. shehas brought of thesituation thenature disclosed slowly fullof parentheses. interruptions. herunderlying quiteclearly reveals process Charlotte Prince. In a way. Everything. ofthestory. herintervention ofpity. ifsheloves I should rather. whether youunderstand don't care. offorce impression but the patching as "magnificent. instantly I mean. about." question accepther without In thedrainstability. she speaksin jerky Like theothers. "What my else. 9I) you.94. shehasnotevenarticulated stage elements."(I. later in thesamescene. has construction normally from tight ofdeparture hercasea pattern of to the development contributes that a pattern beenestablished. as that. tothePrince: speaks is." (I.James worthy and in theend. I that you. heremotion that theothers us to seewhy andenables andvitality." back-they come come "They back. forMaggie's willselect lotte at this thatprobably the deeperintentions vealedto foreshadow ofCharlotte's Another toherself.155.to hear. She's that oneneeddo for absolutely. A little toward Maggie. of emphatic habits is therepetition verbal significant elsecanwedo?"(I."(I. but in elements. There's I meanif youloveher-or missthings. and loosetransitional ambiguities. doesn't shedeveloped-"she itgo. shewent on. Shelets say.entirely nificent. 87) so much even youI don't-Imayn't-ask to exor tries Charlotte expresses.33 on Sun. to the marriage before Maggie's matic parkscene. ofherattitude something press. nothing.

which shouldhave been freest if by the term to James. I2). "You boreyourself. The effect to herself. of it." (I. io) lutely butin hercase therepepartof hersentence.Maggie. as But only Charlotte in thesestructures.often in a playfulmanner. communications. brilliance she opposesto theunfettered up butthemoreI shallgivemyself yet. entlythanthoseof Charlotte. 269) I don't.94. ButI don't. For the mostpart.In the case of James. a mannerto some degree became It theman. vationmorepersonally charmwhich unstylish of thepoised.as overhis writings. as soonas I havetime-totherest. gie's patterns. Magwhen theycome to wheretheirtreasure and much less insistoccur less frequently however. 272) in the alone would standout significantly None of theseexpressions fromtimeto time prosestyle. titionfrequently she has expressed." 9) absoitbeautiful-is for-andI think he cares to thethings "His relation romantic.a set in her speeches.86 AmericanLiterature I don't. and indicative charming rather of Charlotte. Stylization his letters." (I.the main idea deprecates.on herside. createthe impression This content downloaded from 146. as well as overthe speech and narration overpassagesof exposition it extendedover his critical of characters. had itsway over and even his talk. repeats She. Othercharacters of James's texture has.33 on Sun. herobservations to interrupt Maggie.in his extra-artistic ism. "I had myidea. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .155. extends the coercionof stylization In the case of the novelist. unjustto apply the word "mannerism" in orderto assumed moreor lessconsciously we mean an affectation the conof originality.The personalstyle. yousee. "'We've been like a pair of pirates-positively the sortwho wink at each otherand say "Ha-ha!" stage pirates. It has been-it is importo me important. is buried'" (I. expressthemselves again and recur again which own. prefaces.or used. forits own sake. othercharacters made available by the Jamesian supply of verbal arrangements grammar.like the dips witha freehand intothebottomless in James. her of of patterns it were.too. Yet it is and also in his art." (I. It seemed tant.has a tendency thatrelatethe meaningof theobserexpressions withparenthetical is and her opinions. "If I've readbuttwoor three (I.

balances ofhiswalk. Alliteration and "something sideof thefulcrum. Another on either totheparagraphs vageedge. thetexture that is distinct from others. i6).B. example. ouslyit is not. a sort artificial elaboration of selmaybe saidto provide sideofit. Morethananything else. paragraph describing Maggie'sPrince:"Something ofthis wasin anycasethemoral andthemurmur sort ofhiswalk" of"in anycase"a structure (G. A smaller number ofthem contain no structural peculiarities and seemon thewholerather A stillsmaller simpleand straightforward. we havedealt Thusfar with qualities inthestyle ofJames which have todo with hisfreedom from customary grammatical restraints. Annot so in the midst of a long. had anyreality. sentence: partaking. on either of thissort" occurs "murmur forsyllable. On thefulcrum hasbeen have done credit that would to balanced John Lyly.andfollowing another. but in accordance withtraditional principles of sentence these somemention. Thereremains.94. white cloth and a sanded of a coarse withtheenhancements floor. The mannerism is a natural human consequence of artistic conscience. Thisis a characteristic useofcertain rather showy tropes. especially of theeuphuistic areso carefully prose. for him. The majority ofJames's sentences contain thekindofdepartures from normal we havebeendiscussing. he saw himself at thecloseof theday. This content downloaded from 146. however. "Whenthey wereso disposed as toshelat theendofa paragraph: wereapttobe shocks" thesurprises tersurprises (G.155." The exactly. of James manifest theengrossing nature of hisartandthemerging ofthis artintoidentity withall theaspects oflife which. .33 on Sun.I. number are again highly wrought.I.. elaboration.these qualities account forthepersonal texture of hisstyle. Before The following at thebeginning sentence occurs ofone. The words arranged in accordance and partof speech withtheir initial sound. thatwe might their in theJamesian fabric expect presence to be obtrusive. occurring ". syllable an arrest. trait oneother ofthis tonotice style before we shallhavecompleted ourinvestigation ofit. lending itself readily to lampoon or admiration. letter.let us havesomeexamples. require The kindofarrangements here involved reminds us oftheschemataverborum of thelatesixteenth century.The SentenceStructure of Henry James 87 versational obliquities. Curiwe ask why.B. quite precise. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .loose other. . 20)..

a matter of individual opinion. they neighbors.. as verborum. offigurae The texture of euphuistic woven prose. forever threatens to becomedevitalized What success by preciosity. ofessential quality andvalue"(G. A float similar of as we suggestively upon shift.. 2iI). produces or floating effect..155.88 American Literature of something fried and felicitious.I. sometimes witheffects of soundalmost lyrically ornate. The preoccupation withlength and soundofwords. forall itsownpeculiar artifice. washeddown withauthentic wine. the words liberated fromsharp. waters association.33 on Sun. in structure. "Shetried example: to be sad so as notto be angry. 20). Such effects as these(along withthe morenumerous simple. 99). and." (Amb. akinto themorepurposefully controlled effects of James himself.94. theEuphuists. This content downloaded from 146. to tone. theschemata aremuch II. differ is basically however their effect they similar. where phrasing. notalliteration.Theyadaptgracefully totheir environment. context-determined themselves. theyhave in savingthe situation is.I.took place in the characteristic structures of James.D. Fairly thebasis frequently ofelaboration is rhythmical. walked.B. . he controlled thetides unlike of association though witha moonlike rigor. perhaps. 7 Apr 2013 16:14:33 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . groupings theemphasis from sense simple from meaning to modeof expression.. that One doesnotfeel. and balanced shifts of them. definitions. sentences pithy a heightened tension mentioned above) contribute to a prose which. as in thefollowing sentence. Occasionally theprinas in this cipleis simple chiasmus. At a sacrifice. . I. have seen. to figurae opposed a diffuse sententiae. Sometimes more elaborate thanthis. wondered. probably because. wandered. failtoblend their with however. as: "They . butit madeherangry that shecouldn't be sad" ( W. is theprinciple ofbalance: "Whatwassingular was itseemed that notso much an expectation ofanything in particular as a large blandblank assumption ofmerits almost beyond notation. lostthemselves (Ammb. 4).. a little.