Henry James
Quotations


Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!

She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table.

In art economy is always beauty.

She had an unequalled gift . . . of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.

Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?

Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?

People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you're nice to the second housemaid.

To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own.

I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme.



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