“The Jolly Corner” (1908)

Creators

Henry James (writer).

Extent

Read in 2017.

Categorization

Just barely, by a hair’s breadth in the form of a corroborating witness, the Todorovian marvelous.

Subject

An already wealthy man imagines how spending the last 33 years differently might have made him wealthier. It really keeps him up at night.

Commentary

The writing is gratingly indirect and circumlocuitous for 1908. Here’s the second sentence:

He was talking to Miss Staverton, with whom for a couple of months now he had availed himself of every possible occasion to talk; this disposition and this resource, this comfort and support, as the situation in fact presented itself, having promptly enough taken the first place in the considerable array of rather unattenuated surprises attending his so strangely belated return to America.

The idea deserved better treatment.

fiction text