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This collection of prefaces, originally written for the 1909 multivolume "New York" Edition of Henry James' fiction, first appeared in book form in 1934 with an introduction by poet and critic R. P. Blackmur. In his prefaces, James tackles the great problems of fiction writing - character, plot, point of view, inspiration - and explains how he came to write novels such as "The Portrait of a Lady" and "The American". As Blackmur puts it, "criticism has never been more ambitious, nor more useful." The latest edition of this influential work includes a foreword by best-selling author Colm Toibin, whose critically acclaimed novel "The Master" is told from the point of view of Henry James. As a guide not only to James' inspiration and execution but also to his frustrations and triumphs, this volume will be valuable both to students of James' fiction and to aspiring writers.
University of Chicago Press
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