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The Aspern Papers

The Aspern Papers by Henry James
By: (1843-1916)

One of James’s favorite short novels, the Aspern Papers tells of the efforts of the nameless narrator to procure the papers of a famous, but now dead, American poet. His attempts to secure them from the poet’s former lover and her niece, now recluses in Venice, are stymied both by them, and by his own mistakes in his quest.

First Page:

THE ASPERN PAPERS

By Henry James

First American book edition,

Macmillan and Co., 1888.

I

I had taken Mrs. Prest into my confidence; in truth without her I should have made but little advance, for the fruitful idea in the whole business dropped from her friendly lips. It was she who invented the short cut, who severed the Gordian knot. It is not supposed to be the nature of women to rise as a general thing to the largest and most liberal view I mean of a practical scheme; but it has struck me that they sometimes throw off a bold conception such as a man would not have risen to with singular serenity. "Simply ask them to take you in on the footing of a lodger" I don't think that unaided I should have risen to that. I was beating about the bush, trying to be ingenious, wondering by what combination of arts I might become an acquaintance, when she offered this happy suggestion that the way to become an acquaintance was first to become an inmate. Her actual knowledge of the Misses Bordereau was scarcely larger than mine, and indeed I had brought with me from England some definite facts which were new to her... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - April 26, 2013
Thank you to the reader for a wonderful experience- it was a great story to listen to!


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