Skip Nav

The Aspern Papers

There was an error trying to load your rating for this title.

❶It's hard to quantify just how worthy the object of the narrator's obsession is, but it doesn't matter, as the narrator really won't let anything interfere with his fantasy of the idol's perfection.

Introduction

Style and Technique
Keep Exploring Britannica
On Dvd & Streaming

Oh yes, I can certainly see the endless snob appeal in this for Paola and how she reigns most regally on the top floors with a Henry James book consistently in her hand. Dec 19, Jon rated it it was amazing. As a Goodreads friend says, this has the pace and timing of a detective novel. It also has a somewhat ghoulish narrator who is intent on convincing himself and the reader that he is not greedy and amoral in his relentless search for some suspected revelatory "papers" of a poet of whose work he is a published scholar.

He almost convinces himself that some fairly pitiless actions on his part are actually noble scholarly efforts in the advancement of knowledge. The descriptions of the two old ladie As a Goodreads friend says, this has the pace and timing of a detective novel. The descriptions of the two old ladies he befriends--you might almost say seduces--of their palace in Venice, and of Venice itself are amazing in their delicacy.

A good place to start if you're interested in reading this formidable author. View all 3 comments. Un Henry James d'annata, una Venezia sublime e decadente, una storia tra il mistery e la follia, scritto in modo sempre impeccabile, mai sopra le righe Il finale mi ha sorpreso, molto pacato, molto vittoriano, molto Henry James!

Then I start reading, and remember that not only is he a master of the written word, but he is accessible, perhaps especially so in this short novella which I finished in a couple of days - good going for a slow reader such as myself. The story is simple, man ado 4. The story is simple, man adores dead poet and wants to get his mitts on the letters he wrote to an ex, who is very old and lives in Venice with her niece —ta da!

But of course, this is James whose characters are rarely so simple and who conjures up a sense of place so effortlessly. Ultimately, there is one question running through the book; will the narrator get the letters or not? Regardless of the answer, the reading pleasure is not in question; biased though I may be, I would recommend this for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the Henry James oeuvre.

Just wanted to share this quote that has as much resonance now, as it did back in The focus is the Papers and the obsession they inspire.

Aug 30, Ben Rutter rated it liked it. Oct 08, kabukigal rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am truly smitten with the unreliable narrators that populate Henry James' novels. They bring to mind how all of us are the unreliable narrators of our own lives.

It's hard to quantify just how worthy the object of the narrator's obsession is, b I am truly smitten with the unreliable narrators that populate Henry James' novels. It's hard to quantify just how worthy the object of the narrator's obsession is, but it doesn't matter, as the narrator really won't let anything interfere with his fantasy of the idol's perfection. As a reader, I felt like a pseudo- therapist, trying to add up all of the narrator's inconsistencies of thought, speech and actions --no easy task, as the narrator is so dedicated to his obsession that he seems to allow himself little time for other emotions or pursuits.

I found the three main characters deliciously complex; I was fascinated that none of them could easily be defined, and yet I sympathized with each at different times during the story. Feb 02, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: For once the book Blurb here on GR does a good job of prefacing this book, so I won't take the time to repeat that. If you like Henry James verbose yet provocative writing style, then you won't be disappointed.

James was fond of this short novel, ranking it ahead of The Turn of the Screw. The use of Venice as the setting for this novel was a nice touch that fit this story perfectly. Jun 27, Elena rated it it was amazing. I just re-read Henry James' novella the "Aspern Papers," again a second time after thirty years. It was first recommended to me in by Jean van Heijenoort, Leon Trotsky's secretary and, after the murder, his archivist, as the best depiction of an archivist's passion for finding the papers of a "great man.

While the story was written in , I've seen modern archivists turn themselves inside I just re-read Henry James' novella the "Aspern Papers," again a second time after thirty years. While the story was written in , I've seen modern archivists turn themselves inside out to ingratiate themselves with the "keeper of the flame" in hopes of scoring the spoils, and at time resorting to flattery, lies, deceptions, phoney friendship, and non-existent jobs.

Looking at a small miniature painting of Aspern, the narrator thinks that it is not very well painted, but talking with the old lady, Juliana,the owner of the painting, he praises it highly, and then learns that it was painted by her father. The narrator's relief that he avoided a misstep by avoiding the truth is almost palpable. I've seen this kind of hypocrisy in action many times. Re-reading the story at leisure, I realize that the story is about much more, all about the treacherous moral ground that a biographer or really any historian treads, invading private lives and exposing them to the world.

Who has the moral right to do such a thing? James was writing just as emerging technology enabled newspaper photographers to print photos without the permission of the subjects and expose unsuspecting people to the uncaring scrutiny of the masses. James decries cameras a couple times even though they play no actual role in the plot. James himself was secretive about his private life and his many intense friendships with women as well as men as he roamed Europe. He knew the terrain.

The act of publishing is a violation of privacy as Juliana, the owner of the letters accuses the narrator: The narrator knows to keep his own privacy: So he is definitely immoral. But there is more. From start to finish, the unnamed biographer makes snide gratuitous comments denigrating women, particularly Juliana's niece Miss Tina: There is an ironic, self-aware soap opera technique at work in the novella, with a cliff hanger or shocker at the end of each chapter, a relic I suppose of the way the book was serialized in its initial publication over several months in "The Atlantic.

This understated self-aware humor is a sheer delight. He wrote under the spell of Florence and Venice, the initial impetus being an ancient English resident in Florence with letters of Byron and Shelley. He shifted the scene from Florence to Venice with all that eerie Venetian light and crumbling grandeur.

And he shifted the subject from a fine English poet to a non-existent American, knowing well there never was an American poet in of the same stature as Byron. Ironic wishful thinking here.

There is clear foreshadowing, this is not a spoiler it's early in the story, that the papers turn to ashes Then in a case of life imitating art, some years after writing the story one of his close friends, Constance Fenimore Woolson, the great niece of Fenimore Cooper, committed suicide, jumping out of the window of her Venetian apartment. Earlier James and Fenimore had shared the same cook and shared meals every night in Florence for weeks. It's known that she had wanted a closer relationship, rather like Miss Tina and the narrator.

After her suicide, James ingratiated himself with her family by spending weeks sorting her papers. And her letters from James disappeared along with most of hers to him. Anita Feferman wrote a fine biography of my friend Jean van Heijenoort entitled "Politics, Logic and Love," but she published it after Jean's death. Privacy in legal terms is supposed to end at death. Editing his stories and his own papers, James ensured both his privacy and his fame way into the future.

The first legal articulation of privacy law was published in by Brandeis motivated by newspaper and photographic intrusions: Dec 01, Justin Evans rated it it was amazing. I love late James, but there's also a lot to be said for this sweet spot in the middle period. The sentences unfurl in a slightly less complicated way, the ideas are more evident, the characters less opaque, their thoughts less interminable. The Aspern Papers is my ideal beach read: I can lie back and enjoy the plot and paragraphs, I don't have to parse the language, and at the end I still feel like I've done my brain some good and become a better person.

Also a very Venetian book; I hope to rea I love late James, but there's also a lot to be said for this sweet spot in the middle period. Also a very Venetian book; I hope to read it in Venice one day. Unfortunately, it's hard to take seriously the idea that a literary critic would get this excited about the personal papers of a nineteenth century American poet.

What could you possibly learn? I just pretended it was actually about Gerard Manley Hopkins. Pela arte prosadora de Henry James? I'm sorry for it, but there's no baseness I wouldn't commit for Jeffrey Aspern's sake. At the beginning of the novella, the narrator discovers that Juliana Bordereau, to whom the poet addressed some of his most beaut 'Hypocrisy, duplicity are my only chance.

At the beginning of the novella, the narrator discovers that Juliana Bordereau, to whom the poet addressed some of his most beautiful love poems, is still alive, a very old lady who lives with a niece in a dilapidated house in Venice.

Not unreasonably, he suspects Miss Bordereau of having mementoes possibly even love letters from the poet , and since a colleague of his has already established that she won't part with them the regular way, he inveigles his way into her house as a lodger. And then he waits -- waits for an opportunity to get his hands on the papers, or to get hold of them some other way.

In many respects, The Aspern Papers is an ideal book for people who dislike James, or think they do. A product of his middle period, it doesn't feature the late-period characteristics with which so many people associate him: The Aspern Papers is neither ponderous nor obscure.

It's a perfectly straightforward and easy-to-read story about hope and obsession and where they will lead us. As is often the case with James, it's also about people using each other, but exactly who is using whom here is unclear. Indeed, a case could be made for all three leads using each other, which adds a bitter dimension to the tale. And it's a pretty bitter story to begin with -- dark and cynical with a bit of well-handled tragedy thrown in for good measure.

Reading The Aspern Papers is an interesting experience. It's quite fascinating to follow the narrator's progress, seeing him plot, attempt to justify his actions, pity himself and check himself whenever he's aware that he is about to do something which may ruin his chances. He's a calculating monster, but in a way you want him to succeed, both because you feel he deserves something for his efforts and because he has to put up with two very difficult women to get at the papers.

For Juliana and her niece are difficult. The former poet's mistress has turned into a cynical, sarcastic and avaricious old lady, and as for her niece, Miss Tina, well, she's a bit of a simpleton, albeit an interesting one the narrator nastily describes her as 'a piece of middle-aged female helplessness'. So how should the narrator go about dealing with them? How should he manipulate them into giving him what he wants? Jeffrey Aspern never offered any advice on that , so the narrator is left to find out for himself.

But of course the women have an agenda of their own, and it doesn't necessarily match his. There was an error trying to load your rating for this title. Some parts of this page won't work property. Please reload or try later. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.

Full Cast and Crew. There he discovers the Classic Literature on Film. Share this Rating Title: The Aspern Papers 8. Use the HTML below. The Aspern Papers is a period drama , co-written, co-produced and directed by Julien Landais , based on Jean Pavans ' scenic adaptation of Henry James ' eponymous novel. Set in Venice in the late 19th century and based on Henry James' eponymous novella, The Aspern Papers is a story of obsession, grandeur lost, and dreams of Byronic adventures.

Ambitious editor Morton Vint is fascinated by the Romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern and by his icon's short and wildly romantic life. Having travelled from America to Venice, he is determined to get his hands on the letters Aspern wrote to his beautiful lover and muse, Juliana Bordereau. Now the ferocious guardian of their secrets, Juliana lives in a grand but rather dilapidated Venetian palazzo with her niece, Miss Tina. Posing as prospective lodger, Morton charms Miss Tina, who leads a very quiet life dominated by her aunt.

See a Problem?

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Directed by Julien Landais. With Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Lois Robbins. A young writer tries to obtain romance letters a poet sent to his mistress.

Privacy FAQs

The Aspern Papers (Dover Thrift Editions) [Henry James] on wapji99.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this classic novella, an anonymous narrator relates his obsessive quest to acquire some letters and other private documents that once belonged to the deceased Romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern. Attempting to gain access to the papers/5(33).

About Our Ads

A minor masterpiece, The Aspern Papers is perhaps not so familiar to nonaficionados of James as “The Beast in the Jungle” or The Turn of the Screw. Combining intrigue, seduction, and James’s. Oct 23,  · Directed by Mariana Hellmund. With Lourdes Brito, Joan Juliet Buck, Felix D'Alviella, Marvin Huise. A young American publisher sets off on a journey to the jungles of Venezuela to acquire the valuable and original manuscripts of his beloved poet, Jeffery Aspern. There he discovers the poet's ancient muse, Juliana Bordereau, living in a dilapidated cocoa hacienda with her recluse niece, Tita/10(36).

Cookie Info

The Aspern Papers () is a period drama, co-written, co-produced and directed by Julien Landais, based on Jean Pavans' scenic adaptation of Henry James' eponymous novel. The film stars Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave; Academy Award-winner James Ivory acting as executive producer. The The Aspern Papers Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.