Rotten Reviews: On Henry James

“It is becoming painfully evident that Mr. James has written himself out as far as the international novel is concerned, and probably as far as any kind of novel-writing is concerned.”

William Morton Payne, The Dial, 1884

“James’ denatured people are only the equivalent in fiction of those egg-faced, black-haired ladies who sit and sit in the Japanese colour-prints…. These people cleared for artistic treatment never make lusty love, never go to angry war, never shout at an election or perspire at poker.”

H.G. Wells Boon, The Mind of the Race, The Wild Ants of the Devil, and the Last Trump 1915

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

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