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The Sacred Fount (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 29 Sep 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 29 Sep 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433500
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,316,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

One of Henry James's most mesmerizing and unusual novels, The Sacred Fount ( 1901) has for its scene a weekend party at the great English country house Newmarch. Here James leads the reader down a bizarre garden path. The Sacred Fount--his only novel to employ a first-person narrator--places us in the hands of an obsessive novelist ( never named and never described, but perhaps familiar), who detects alarming changes in his acquaintances. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Henry James was born the son of a religious philosopher in New York City in 1843. His famous works include The Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, Daisy Miller, and The Turn of the Screw. He died in London in 1916, and is buried in the family plot in Cambridge, Massachusetts. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 25 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This gloriously written, intelligent, comical, baffling but rewarding novel features an absurd, pompous but lovable first-person busybody. (In fact in many places this novel sounds amazingly like Nabokov, though it predates N. by decades.) This is a tricky and notoriously difficult novel, obsessed with consciousness and the lack thereof, and full of "rather happy ambiguities," a phrase that appears in the very first paragraph. Many reviewers didn't get this "anecdote" (the unnamed narrator's term for the novel) at the time it first came out, many were unable to read it, and presumably this is still the case. Even the Jamesian scholars have had problems with such simple things as trying to figure out who is talking and what they're talking about half the time - even though the number of characters totals a mere ten. Each of the first four chapters I had to re-read, slowly, before comprehension set it. But after that it was fairly smooth sailing. Leon Edel's introductory remarks were very helpful in determining what was important and what readers didn't have to worry about. It often seems that James doesn't intend us to understand everything, or even to worry about our lack of understanding. After a while the notion that one should be sweating over the details of this novel seemed absurd, and by the time one reaches chapter 10 one realized that really there is only one character worth paying attention to - the narrator - for all the others are warped through the narrator's hyperactive perception and twisted imagination.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sacred Fount 22 April 2013
By prolific reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm trying hard to enjoy Henry James after having him mentioned so often by Donna Leon in her Brunetti series, but am still not converted.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The usual James-- a delight. 19 Mar. 2015
By a critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Who can resist a Henry James short story? The language and structure are breathtaking. I recommend (what hubris) to any seeker of fine and careful writing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything was fine. Thanks !! 22 Mar. 2017
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything was fine. Thanks !!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the brave and true(to Henry James) 9 Oct. 2014
By Marshmallow44 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A.strange book that could be responded to as an exami ation of what happens when people gossip, speculate, pro ject, suspect rather than get to know each other. or it could also be seen as an examination of the effect of relationships on the two people involved, the ways that one may drai n the vitality and life force from the other, perhaps also because of the absence of actuallly caring for and getting to know each other. it could br seen as a really good book that shows through the conversation and development (or lack of it) of the characters, and therefore shows us rather than tells us what he is trying to say. some say it is an early example of post-modern writing which leaves all reality at question and depicts a world of uncertainty and A certain meaninglessness. Henry James writes well (duh) so it is compleeing in some waya, confusiing interesting, making me wants to know "who is really involved with whom". but it drive me absolutely crazy to read it. not for the faint-hearted and probably best for those. who get interesrestedcin kate Henry James.
4.0 out of 5 stars There it is. 8 Nov. 2016
By Public Name - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sort of The Awkward Age with a bit more awkward, this having an unreliable first person narrator. The Awkward, Awkward Age. Bil of a puzzle. Bit boring. Yet, better than most writing we find today. James at his worst is still better than most. At least it wasn't as long as Princess Casamassima. That was a trial. I prefer the Conrad Secret Agent to that one, and The Awkward Age to this one. But if one is reading James, one, as it were, takes it all in. There we are.

It is not to be expected that after the three great novels, and the great short stories of the previous 8 or 10 years, that things continue to move up as well as ahead, I suppose.
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