The Lesson of the Master

The Lesson of the Master The Lesson of the Master is a richly told tale about the young writer Paul Overt who is saved by the renowned novelist Henry St George St George leads Overt on the path of renunciation to literary gr

  • Title: The Lesson of the Master
  • Author: Henry James Frank Kermode
  • ISBN: 9780146001611
  • Page: 135
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Lesson of the Master is a richly told tale about the young writer Paul Overt, who is saved by the renowned novelist Henry St George St George leads Overt on the path of renunciation to literary greatness, even as he, St George, renounces his own art for a life of comfort and complacency.

    One thought on “The Lesson of the Master”

    1. Woman the Domesticator is the downfall of Man the Artist. try as he may, his anger and his insight and his vision, his credibility and his entire artistic sensibility will be degraded until he is a mere shadow of his once rigorous self. wife and children and safe, happy home shall all participate in the tragic dousing of his creative flame. they shall render him impotent, and he shall go smiling and content into his new, flaccid life. 'tis best to go it alone; the only true path to true art for [...]

    2. Un colpo di stilettoPerfido, meraviglioso, Henry James.Nonostante il finale sia prevedibile e non giunga inatteso, nonostante il rapporto fra i due scrittori protagonisti della novella - il giovane promettente Paul Overt e l'affermato Henry St. George - li ponga a confronto e da subito in antitesi sotto ogni punto di vista, nonostante tutto (dati cause e pretesti?) il finale colpisce come una stilettata inferta a sorpresa: come un colpo scoccato alla luce del sole e al tempo stesso a tradimento. [...]

    3. "So, MFA class, what did you think of this?""Well, I don't like how he starts it. I mean, we don't really get to know Paul Overt very much, right, and those first few sentences are just so confusing. I mean, who is this guy? Why should I care about him?""This strikes me as a bit, I don't know, it's kind of sexist. Like, why can't you have Miss Fancourt take control of her own destiny, because she seems right now like she's just waiting for someone to propose to her." "You shouldn't write about w [...]

    4. This is a question, not an answer, and it is a good question to think upon, everyone coming to their own decision.While James uses this story to discuss the age-old maxim of "the artist should be hungry," there's no need to take the opinions of his fictional heroes for his own. Don't we know that St. George had an ulterior motive?Moreover, the author markedly refrains from telling us the issue of the point: whose works are better, lone genius or comfortable and loved man of the world? We don't k [...]

    5. Henry James, uno dei miei scrittori preferiti, si spense a Londra nel 1916. Quest’anno ricorrono i cento anni dalla morte, e l’Adelphi l’ha omaggiato (avrebbero dovuto farlo in realtà altre case editrici) con la pubblicazione di uno dei suoi racconti più belli: The Lesson of the Master(La lezione del Maestro).La storia è quella di un giovane scrittore, Paul Overt, che incontra in un ricevimento il suo idolo letterario (il «Maestro» del titolo), Herny St. George, uno scrittore in decad [...]

    6. A pompous wannabe artist is advised by a passé writer, the master, to avoid marriage to a woman he admires in order to write without the constraints of domesticity. Neither of them care about what the young lady has to say on the matter so we're lead to believe that the novella asks if artists should live solely for their art or to balance it out with real life, but that's all bull in my opinion.(view spoiler)[ It's really the story about how an older man tricked the younger person and steals h [...]

    7. This was my introduction to Henry James and certainly the beginning of a long relationship. The balance of ornate prose, confident narrative structure, and lovely empathy for his characters makes this one of the best pieces of fiction I have ever read. The plot is important, and it drives the work from beginning to end but what is so extraordinary is that it hinges of the reader's empathy to convey its point. On the surface, it could be told as a vaguely mean story about a young man duped, but c [...]

    8. I generally can’t bear to hear artists talk about their art as if it were the only or most valuable thing in the world. Better, in my opinion, to love well those whom you are given to love, and to strive to live an examined life. But the “lesson” here is more complicated than at first appears. The moral, perhaps, is that total dedication to art is a kind of vivisection of the heart.“She’s first-rate herself and expends herself on the second-rate. She’s life herself and she takes a ra [...]

    9. Aunque no me disgustó del todo reconozco que en algunas partes se me hizo un poco denso. Mi reseña: contandoteunlibro

    10. While initially interesting this story dragged towards the end. The 'strong' Paul Ortel is really just a whimpering weak willed lackey who follows St. George's advice. And what great advice it is! Women only hinder art because as the weaker sex we cannot fully understand and nurture it. What a load of misogynistic drivel. Essentially a work of deep navel gazing about the literary world. Not my cup of tea.

    11. I really enjoy Henry James’ work, and spotted this lovely Hesperus edition quite by chance in the library. Whilst I had heard of it, I did not know anything about the novella before I began to read. Colm Toibin’s foreword provides a nice little introduction to the story, and also sets out the details which drove James to write. The Lesson of the Master was first published in 1888, but parts of it feel as though they are of a far more modern era.The story’s protagonist, Paul Overt, is an am [...]

    12. One of the favorite Henry James subjects: a writer who tries to know in depth another writer, whom he considers his master. This is the subject of "The Aspern papers" (the best one, written in 1888, the same year as this story) and "The figure in the carpet" (1896). Like the latter, "The lesson of the master" has a foreseeable end. Although the beginning is somewhat dull, the middle and the last parts are better. So, although I am rating it the same as "The figure in the carpet", consider as tho [...]

    13. Despite fumbling over some of the more antiquated narrative devices, I found myself immediately invested in the plight of James's protagonist. And at the end of the novella I wondered what the true lesson was, which speaks the elegant rendering of these characters and the routes of the psychological quandaries of the artist.

    14. Letto sull'onda di una recensione (niente affatto accidentale: sto leggendo/rileggendo tutto James), la condivido volentieri:A lezione da un Peccable MasterCi sono fondati motivi per pensare che La lezione del Maestro sia il più perfetto dei romanzi brevi di Henry James. Come spesso succede in queste situazioni, in parte il racconto è una sorta di variazione su spunti tutt’altro che nuovi per l’autore e solo più perfettamente modulati che altrove. Qualsiasi appassionato di James riconosce [...]

    15. This story is one of a group of James' stories about young men seeking out or trying to validate their mission in life, along with The Beast in the Jungle and the Real Thing. I found it less sleek than those stories, at least as I remember them, but more comic and perhaps one can say warm. More than anything, tho, it makes me want to read The Ambassadors. I think he was trying out themes here he enlarges upon there, basically does one live or does one do Art? An invidious binary but one James ca [...]

    16. A novella describing the contacts a gifted young writer has with a man who has published many books but feels that other priorities have kept him from doing his best work. As a result the young writer spends two years abroad working in seclusion only to suspect upon returning to England that the older man may have been self-seeking in urging monogomy. As James uses an extensive vocabulary and at times is a bit sparing in his use of punctuation, I found myself re-reading sentences orally to fully [...]

    17. This beautifully packaged series of classic novellas includes the works of Anton Chekhov, Colette, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Leo Tolstoy. These collectible editions are the first single-volume publications of these classic tales, offering a closer look at this underappreciated literary form and providing a fresh take on the world's most celebrated authors.

    18. Another of the assigned stories for class 2014. This story poses issues about 'art' and artists. Our discussion was interesting in class. Can one be an artist and have a 'life'.family, kids etc. or must you devote your passion to creating your art? His characters and his way of gradually revealing, to the reader, what is going on beneath the surface intrigues me.

    19. Don't get married and have a family, you'll (assuming you are a dude) will stop being creative and your work will suffer. Oh and being famous can make you steal the girl. Outside of these dated tropes on gender and careers the story was a slow one and the end was perhaps the only redeeming writing, incredibly lucid (which made it more jarring). Oh, and no ghosts.

    20. the lesson of this little novella is: if you're an "artiste", don't get mixed up with a woman because she will nag and hound you about menial stuff like providing for your children and will keep you from expressing your true genius. please.

    21. Bottom Line. 4.5 Stars Rounded up. In 86 pages Henry James discusses in a fictional setting what it takes to be and what is to be expected from an artist. A third person narrative of words between a now older master author, who has consciously lost his ’edge’ and a younger man with one great book behind him and a decision to make.Leaving behind the details of the plot and I hope not giving away too much. It is the belief of the older man, St. George (as in the dragon slayer) that the artist [...]

    22. For me, one of two stories in a Modern Classic Series. Which seems to be the Penguin Classic of the 1930's. The other is Turn of the Screw. I preferred the former.

    23. Desde el interesante punto de vista en que se expone a los personajes, el autor nos lleva a reflexionar sobre los dilemas que enfrentan los escritores tanto en su vida personal como profesional. La literatura y el arte son el eje central de esta genial narrativa psicológica.

    24. Малая заинтересованность творчеством Генри Джеймса за пределами англоязычного мира легко объясняется своеобразным стилем писателя. Его произведения обязательно содержат в себе глубокую суть, до которой очень трудно добраться. Переваривать внутри себя загадочные хитро [...]

    25. Paul Overt as the name implies, wears his emotions on his sleeves. He's and arrogant writer with an insatiable literary crush on the "celebrated novelist" Henry St George (a stand in for the author, Henry James?). In his desire to know and be known by St George, Overt meets and schmoozes with St George's oh so modern and liberal wife, the kindly General Fancourt, Fancourt's literary minded daughter Miriam and finally the master himself, Henry St George. With all of these encounters, Overt is sho [...]

    26. James has several stories and novellas about writers and would-be writers, including this novella as well as "The Death of the Lion," the kooky tale "The Private Life," and "The Aspern Papers." Even more than "The Aspern Papers" (also published 1888), this novella seems the most mature of these writer stories, which is not the say it lacks a good dash of humor or the harsh cynicism of "The Aspern Papers. (These qualities help it overcome the sometimes stodgy atmospherics of a world that has clea [...]

    27. Another very enjoyable story from the Penguin 60's Classics series. I was initially a little put off by the rather elevated subject matter of how far above us mere mortal "artists" are. I couldn't help feeling that maybe such artists (including the author) are mistaken in their belief that their sensibilities are so refined. I also found the prose a little hard to read at times - it felt like the author was being deliberately over-complicating his sentences so that they would need to be read twi [...]

    28. The first I've read of Henry James. I think I'll read more of him. Very elegant sentences. Often rather complicated ones that were challenging to piece together. In most cases I think it would be bad to be difficult to be understood, but I liked it here.For instance: "But he had never before seen her look so much as if her prosperity had deeper foundations than an ink-spotted study-table littered with proof sheets." It's not tremendously complicated, but the meaning doesn't just jump out at me. [...]

    29. Henry James è un finissimo maestro nell'introspezione e nella creazione di atmosfere raffinate. Certo, il racconto è in un certo senso una parabola sulle finzioni umane e sui rischi della manipolazione: come tale rischia di congelarsi in un discreto margine di prevedibilità, ma la riflessione che ne scaturisce è brillante. Peccato che la presentazione editoriale orienti il lettore a intuire facilmente il finale, al di là della prevedibilità di cui si diceva.

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