Observing Kristen
a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog
The Art Thing
Posted on March 30th, 2011 at 8:14 am by kristen88 and

The Art of Fiction

Henry James appreciates illustrations but he does not support them. He believes that illustrations steal perspective. A picture is worth 1,000 words and does the work of interpretations. James has a fear of competing with illustrations. He believes that an image stifles our imagination and relieves us of the work of creating an image in our mind. An image brings thinking back to a scene represented in a text without copying it. When you don’t have an image within a text you have nothing competing with it andĀ  you can and have the freedom to create your own stage.

The Real Thing

“[W]ith all their perfections I didnt believe easily in them.” (194) This line made me think about Emily Dickinson and how she feels about portraits and not truly showing someone for who they are. Also, photos can be cropped and edited to make something or someone look better and cover up imperfections.

“[M]otionless as if she were before a photographers lens.” (199) This made me think about the stereoscope and how am image was looked at and duplicated because that is what was being done now but with a real person and paint instead of looking at a device which was copying an image to be duplicated.

“[I]t was a charming picture of blended youth and murmured love. (209) This made me think about Turner and how he painted with a swirly motion, and blended things together, where nothing was concrete.

“[P]aid the price – for a memory.” (210) This made me think about Emily DickinsonsĀ  poem about perceiving and perception and losing out on reality.

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Comments so far:

Link Here | March 31, 2011,

Interesting connections, Kristen. Now, in your next post, I’d like to see you discuss a quotation in the context of the scene in which it appears in James’s work. Try choosing one quotation from The Ambassadors and explanaing why it is crucial to understanding what seems to you to be a “theme” of the work. (You may want to practice doing this on your own leading up to post #6. See me if you want to discuss this!)

Dominique Zino

Link Here | March 31, 2011,

Sorry, forgot to leave a number…(3/4)

Dominique Zino

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