August 12, 2005

The Ambassadors IV: 2

"oh," said Miss Gostrey, "mayn't it be that everyone else isn't quite so struck with him as you?"

(For a guide to joining this group reading of The Ambassadors, click here.)

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May 24, 2005

The Ambassadors IV: 1

"Do I strike you as improved?" Strether was to recall that Chad had at this point enquired.

He was likewise to recall - and it had to count for some time as his greatest comfort - that it had been "given" to him, as they said at Woollett, to reply with some presence of mind: "I haven't the least idea."

(For a guide to joining this group reading of The Ambassadors, click here.)

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April 07, 2005

The Ambassadors III:2

Relief was never quite near at hand for kings, queens, comedians and other such people, and though you might be yourself not exactly one of those, you could yet, in leading the life of high pressure, guess a little at how they sometimes felt. It was truly the life of high pressure that Strether had seemed to feel himself lead while he sat there, close to Chad, during the long tension of the act. He was in presence of a fact that occupied his whole mind, that occupied for the half-hour his senses themselves all together; but he couldn't without inconvenience show anything - which moreover might count realy as luck. What he might have shown, had he shown at all, was exactly the kind of emotion - the emotion of bewilderment - that he had proposed to himself from the first, whatever should occur, to show least.

(For a guide to joining this group reading of The Ambassadors, click here.)

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March 17, 2005

The Ambassadors III:1

One thing was certain - he saw he must make up his mind. He must approach Chad, must wait for him, deal with him, master him, but he mustn't dispossess himself of the faculty of seeing things as they were. He must bring him to him - not go himself, as it were, so much of the way. He must at any rate be clearer to what - should he continue to do that for convenience - he was still condoning. It was on the detail of this quantity - and what could the fact be but mystifying - that Bilham and Miss Barrace threw so little light. So there they were.

(For a guide to joining this group reading of The Ambassadors, click here.)

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March 01, 2005

Reading The Ambassadors: Read This First

(I'm going to leave this list at the top of the page for a day or two, and then move it to the top of the Ambassadors Archive.)

¶ Group readings on Good For You follow a novel template. The only text to appear in the posts proper will have been extracted from the pertinent chapter. My comments (this is R J Keefe, prop., speaking) will join everyone else's below the post proper. Keep your eyes on the Comments (N) spot. In another deviation from standard practice, I intend not to post the first comment to any chapter - so don't wait for me! As soon as someone posts a comment to a given chapter post, I will upload a page for the next chapter. Send procedural questions to me via email instead of asking them in comments.

¶ Comments will be accepted for every chapter indefinitely. If you arrive to find that some readers are well into the book, don't feel that you must start your comments wherever they are. I hope that this reading will be highly recursive, with new posts to "old" chapters refreshing everyone's experience.

¶ You will probably find it most useful to engage in this group read via the Ambassadors archives. Good For You has not been turned over Henry James for the duration, and other posts will appear amid the ones that you're looking for.

¶ I'd like to keep our reading focused on the novel itself, but I know from experience how tempting tangents can be. I urge you post tangential comments here, and not to the chapters that inspired them. I reserve the right to move such comments here, but I'd rather be spared such labors.

¶ Because I'm making this up as I go along, you might find it useful to check this page from time to time for recent promulgations.

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The Ambassadors II:2

But a week had elapsed since he quitted the the ship, and there were more things in his mind than so few days could account for. More than once, during the time, he had regarded himself as admonished; but the admonition this morning was formidably sharp. It took as it as it hadn't done yet the form of a question - the question of what he was doing with such an extraordinary sense of escape.

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February 20, 2005

The Ambassadors II:1

'Ah, they couldn't have come - either of them. They're very busy people, and Mrs Newsome in particular has a large full life. She's moreover highly nervous - and not at all strong.'

'You mean she's an American invalid?'

He carefully distinguished. 'There's nothing she likes less than to be called one, but she would consent to be one of those things, I think', he laughed, 'if it were the only way to be the other.'

'Consent to be an American in order to be an invalid?'

'No,' said Strether, 'the other way round.'

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February 11, 2005

The Ambassadors I:3

She explained moreover that wherever she happened to be she found a dropped thread to pick up, a ragged edge to repair, some familiar appetite in ambush, jumping out as she approached, yet appeasable with a temporary biscuit.

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February 10, 2005

The Ambassadors I:2

"I was dog-tired," his companion returned, "when I arrived, and it's this wild hunt for rest that takes all the life out of me. The fact is, Strether - and it's a comfort to have you here at last to say it to; though I don't know, after all, that I've really waited; I've told it to people I've met in the cars - the fact is, such a country as this ain't my kind of country anyway. There ain't a country I've seen over here that does seem my kind. Oh, I don't say but what there are plenty of pretty places and remarkable old things; but the trouble is that I don't seem to feel anywhere in tune. That's one of the reasons why I suppose I've gained so little. I haven't had the first sign of that lift I was led to expect." With this he broke out more earnestly, "Look here - I want to go back."

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February 07, 2005

The Ambassadors I:1

He was burdened, poor Strether - it had better be confessed at the outset - with the oddity of a double consciousness. There was detachment in his zeal and curiosity in his indifference.

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