The American (Signet Classics)

The American Signet Classics Henry James s third novel is an exploration of his most powerful perennial theme the clash between European and American cultures the Old World and the New Christopher Newman a self made American m

  • Title: The American (Signet Classics)
  • Author: Henry James Lee Clark Mitchell
  • ISBN: 9780451529664
  • Page: 379
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Henry James s third novel is an exploration of his most powerful, perennial theme the clash between European and American cultures, the Old World and the New Christopher Newman, a self made American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his propoHenry James s third novel is an exploration of his most powerful, perennial theme the clash between European and American cultures, the Old World and the New Christopher Newman, a self made American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes past, he confronts a moral dilemma Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge James s masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners.

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    1. Are you the kind of person who enjoys fast-paced melodrama? Fortified castles where dreadful deeds are carried out at midnight? A beautiful heroine who is destined to be buried alive? Evil villains straight out of a gothic romance? No?Perhaps you are instead the kind of reader who prefers a more sedate narrative full of realistic depictions of everyday life. If you are, you share a trait with Christopher Newman, the American of the title. Though his story is set in the 1860s, Newman is a modern [...]

    2. An American millionaire businessman arrives in Paris, Christopher Newman, in 1868, to get "Culture," and find the perfect wife, after all he's 36 and lonely, and while walking through the gigantic Louvre museum, the tired man sits down, he views the magnificent paintings surrounding him on the walls. Newman notices too, young, pretty girls, copying these exquisite works, particularly the highly ambitious Noemie Nioche efforts, making an offer to buy the picture, and does, for a greatly inflated [...]

    3. THE AMERICAN : PLOT SYNOPSIS WITH SOUNDTRACKOn a lovely day in May, 1868, Christopher Newman, a wealthy American businessman, sits down in the Louvre with an aesthetic headache, having seen too many paintings.A young Parisian copyist, Noémie Nioche, catches his eye, and he agrees to buy the painting she is working on for the extravagant price of 2,000 francsRRET STRONG : MONEYMoney don't buy everything it's trueBut what it don't buy, I can't useHere's 2000 francs(that's what I want)For your pai [...]

    4. I wasn't sure I would like any of Henry James' work after reading the acclaimed The Portrait of a Lady and being unable to finish it. Even now, I pulled it off my shelf to give it another go and still, I can't just yet. Portrait of a Ladyis a novel said to be one of the greatest 19th Century American realist novels. So pardon my reader obstinacy and humble opinion, James fans, when I say that no, I did not see Isabel as a "realistic invention of female psychology." But now that James has given m [...]

    5. A ‘connection’: I chose this book to take with me on travels not too long ago, not realizing I would see the real-life version of its cover near the end of my trip: flickr/gp/146453712@NA connection: If I hadn't recently reread Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, I wouldn't have noted this novel’s obvious debt to it. And I do mean obvious, though James employs a different setting and different nationalities to create another theme (“I’ve never met an American before” is a literal or al [...]

    6. Prima di addentrarmi in una specificazione vorrei riassumere brevemente la trama di questo romanzo. L’americano del titolo è Christopher Newman, un quarantenne di bell’aspetto, molto facoltoso. il quale va in Europa deciso a trovare la migliore delle mogli. Si innamora, ricambiato, di una donna intelligente appartenente a una famiglia nobile. la famiglia della donna però si oppone a questa unione, poiché vedono Newman come un arricchito (un po' quello che potrebbe succedere alla fidanzata [...]

    7. In the most recent installment of my review of the short story anthology I'm currently reading, I couldn't resist being quite snarkily critical of the (to me) unreadable Henry James selection there, which I noted shows him at his worst. So I thought it only fair to offer a review of a work that shows him at his best (or as far as I can determine that, from my limited reading of his corpus). IMO, his ghost stories exhibit some of his best work; but this mainstream novel (which I read as a high sc [...]

    8. i decided to read henry james one summer a few years ago (decades) and decided to approach him with one book from each ‘era’: early, middle, and late. this was the early. 'middle': portrait of a lady /book/show/2, 'late: the ambassadors /book/show/7 actually an easier read than i thought, i understand it is an early version, a draft, of james’ architectonic and archetypal story: contrasting the innocent, honest, open american, with various layers of corruption of the old world, of europe. [...]

    9. The American was my second dip into early Henry James, after Roderick Hudson, his very first, published in 1875. The American is a little later; it appeared in 1877, although James seems to have rewritten it quite extensively in 1907 for the New York edition of his collected works. I read it in the 1907 version, in a very good Oxford World’s Classics edition, which contains a fascinating essay by James, written at the time of his revision, recalling the work’s composition and retrospectively [...]

    10. My first introduction to Henry James was having to read THE AMBASSADORS for a course in college. I wouldn't recommend starting his novels with that one. It's an exceedingly difficult book; thick prose with many clauses and asides, swimming in commas and dashes, to the point that one is easily frustrated and lost. You know it's supposed to be a classic, but who the hell cares anymore. Thankfully, years later, I decideded to give THE AMBASSADORS another read and actually enjoyed it. I then read TH [...]

    11. The novel summary does not capture this: of course it is CLASS that divides the New-Man from his aristocratic innamorata and her 800 year French family. Bellegarde confides that occasionally the men in the family descended to marrying down, bourgeoisie--"lawyers' daughters." Newman offers, "that's very bad, is it?"(Buccaneer, 99) And now we are trying to institute class in America, with money = class. But it assuredly does not. Many European aristocrats are now, as they were a century ago in Jam [...]

    12. The most prominent difference between the early and the late works of Henry James is, I think, subtlety. Not only did his writing style become more subtle, to the point that some passages require multiple rereadings just to figure out what he's driving at, his characters and stories became subtler, with more nuance in the former and less open conflict in the latter. "The American" is a quite early Henry James novel (either his second or his third, depending on whether you refuse, as James did la [...]

    13. This was a reread, I think the third time, but I haven’t read it since the mid-Seventies at the latest. Rereading, I must say, was a huge enjoyment. This is James at the best of his earlier period, where he was exploring the naïve American in Europe, packing enormous meaning in every sentence, but before he began with the super subtle detail and very long and complex sentences that characterize his later masterpieces like A Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove and The Go [...]

    14. Christopher Newman, a wealthy, good-natured Western magnate, has retired to Europe in order to better himself. There he is introduced to Claire de Cintré as a representative of his ideal woman. He does prize her, and determines to marry her, though the nobility of her family, the Bellegardes, seems to preclude such a bond. His friendship with her brother and easy democratic feeling make Newman regard himself as “noble” as they, though of course he isn’t.It’s quite a subtle and clever ta [...]

    15. Quante volte durante la lettura mi sono chiesto a che gioco giocasse Christopher Newman e che personaggio volesse decidersi ad essere!Dalle sue prime apparizioni ho pensato fosse una sorta di Martin Eden più equilibrato, meno roso dalla fame di conoscenza, un Martin Eden a cui le cose erano andate bene.E mi meravigliavo del fatto che un uomo moderno, nuovo, neuf, new, come Chris Newman, così poco 'romantico' al confronto di Martin Eden, fosse stato scritto più di trent'anni prima, ancora in p [...]

    16. When I started reading this book, my expectations were not set very high. It started as a slow paced classic that I was not very interested in. At this point, I had read several other books by this author and I was ready to give up on the tragic touch he usually gives his stories. Luckily, as the stubborn reader that I am, I decided to finish this book and give the author another chance. After all, there are some aspects of his writing that I like. And I was not disappointed this time. I'm so gl [...]

    17. Henry James writes beautifully and entertainingly. The book is very slow to unfold and at times tests one's patience, but is ultimately rewarding. It is, on the surface, a comedy of manners about the culture shock experienced by an American entrepreneur in Paris. At a deeper level, it is a sharp analysis of the American psyche - about boundless (and perhaps unmerited) optimism, about persistent egalitarianism in the face of rigid social structures, and ultimately about a folly of innocence and n [...]

    18. A defense of the nouveau riche against the stiff, ossified mores of the aristocracy. Having made his fortune, an American millionaire comes to Paris to learn the ways of the world. He attempts to woo a widowed scion of the old nobility, but trouble ensues. Delicately paced, and funny in parts, until the action picks up dramatically in tone and pace in the last third. James' urbane, refined style is always enjoyable, but this novel doesn't achieve the complexity or insight of greatness.

    19. Christopher Newman, 36, an American who has become wealthy in commerce and manufacturing following the Civil War, is the hero, in "The American", an early novel by Henry James. Most of the story is set in France in the late 1860s as Newman, vaguely dissatisfied with his life of making money, wants to learn what Europe has to teach. Newman is also lonely and in search of a wife; but the "bar", as he puts it, for a prospective wife is high. Through American friends in Paris, Newman is introduced t [...]

    20. Al giorno d'oggi si fa davvero un gran parlare della "buona letteratura": autori di modeste capacità, libri mediocri, contenuti discutibili Tutto viene inglobato con sorprendente facilità nella suddetta categoria, spesso senza possedere alcun merito.Poi capita tra le mani un romanzo come questo, semi-sconosciuto ai lettori italiani, ed anche in linea generale, tra i meno celebri di James, e istantaneamente ci si accorge di cosa sia davvero la grande letteratura!Christopher Newman, trentaseienn [...]

    21. On occasion, devoted readers of contemporary fiction ought to consider taking a short break from Patterson or Cornwell or Grafton or Penny. It couldn't hurt to brush up on some of the older writers. Take Henry James for instance. His is one of those names everyone has heard. And perhaps many are even familiar with one or two of his titles. Usually it's his Gothic novella "The Turn of the Screw" that comes first to mind or perhaps one of his better known novels such as PORTRAIT OF A LADY or DAISY [...]

    22. Хенри Джеймс рисува сонати и композира върху платна. В неговия роман точките не слагат край на мисъл, а са елегантни японски мостчета, които плавно те отвеждат до следващата. Макар че не помня огромна част от The Portrait of a Lady, освен смътно основната сюжетна линия, си спомням, че [...]

    23. The American, not surprisingly, is a book about an American, who, having been successful in business all his life, goes to France to win over a wife. The hero is a good natured, self-made millionaire named Newman (get it?) who falls in love with the only daughter of a very old, aristocratic, half French have Anglo-saxon family. Initially, they are won over by his money, but, in the end, can not consent to let their daughter marry a business man of the nouveau riche. (This isn't a spoiler, it tel [...]

    24. The author does a great job with character observations both from the narrator and from other characters, such as this one where he describes the ridiculous, bratty, ruthlessly amusing Noemie. "She is quite pretty enough for her purposes, and it is a face and figure in which everything tells. If she were prettier she would be less intelligent, and her intelligene is half her charm' Valentin then continues, 'She has taken the measure of life, and she has determined to be something-to succeed at a [...]

    25. I enjoyed this book, and actually stayed up until 2 am one quiet night to read the last 100 pages. As the title indicates, the novel is about "The American," who, while immersing himself in European culture as a change from making millions in industry, has the audacity to set his sights on marriage with a noble women. But the woman in question is not just noble in her character, she is "noble" in the sense of having a title. Her mother is a marquise, her brother is a count, and the family is unh [...]

    26. Clearly the most humorous Henry James book I've read so far. Even when the melodrama kicks into high gear, Newman the eponymous protagonist is a consistently silly character.You can follow the book on two levels: one is Newman's story, and the other is James himself finding his way as an American in Paris. Every now and then the two strands intermingle, for example in this description of Newman's friend Valentin:" he formed a character to which Newman was as capable of doing justice when he had [...]

    27. I never thought Great tradition is such a big deal to Europe as well as to China. People (pinoners) are encouraging mobs to break rules, think out of boxes, and leave the tradition behinnd. But no one does it better than Americans. Well, no one understands the feeling of Americans. When you are considered too commercial, you are the first one to do it, no matter what you expected. People substains their tradition always scold people who are breaking rules. They contempt who can do what they will [...]

    28. Christopher Newman, the title character in The American, doesn't seem to have a single negative bone in his body nor to have faced any significant, lasting hardships in his life. In this way, he seems rather dull and one-dimensional, but gradually over the course of the novel, that all changes and we see a very different man at the end.Although I enjoyed reading it, my main issue with this novel is that nothing happens for the first 200 pages - nothing particularly dramatic, anyway. Newman meets [...]

    29. The first half kept my interest but the second half totally lost it. The plot fell apart and all of the good things of the first half disappeared. The plot changes from revolving around a courtship between a man and a woman to revolving around a humorous revenge/19th century victorian era suspense novel, that never resolves itself. The first half had such great potential and I enjoyed the relationships that were forming between the characters, but that all became lost in the fog of the second ha [...]

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