Quotes Categories

Henry James Quotes

(1843-1916), American Author

It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to under value them.

Category: America

No sovereign, no court, no personal loyalty, no aristocracy, no church, no clergy, no army, no diplomatic service, no country gentlemen, no palaces, no castles, nor manors, nor old country-houses, nor parsonages, nor thatched cottages nor ivied ruins; no cathedrals, nor abbeys, nor little Norman churches; no great Universities nor public schools -- no Oxford, nor Eton, nor Harrow; no literature, no novels, no museums, no pictures, no political society, no sporting class -- no Epsom nor Ascot! Some such list as that might be drawn up of the absent things in American life.

Category: America

The face of nature and civilization in this our country is to a certain point a very sufficient literary field. But it will yield its secrets only to a really grasping imagination. To write well and worthily of American things one need even more than elsewhere to be a master.

Category: America

Cats and monkeys; monkeys and cats; all human life is there.

Category: Animals

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.

Category: Arts And Artists

The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.

Category: Books And Reading

What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?

Category: Character

One might enumerate the items of high civilization, as it exists in other countries, which are absent from the texture of American life, until it should become a wonder to know what was left.

Category: Civilization

People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you're nice to the second housemaid.

Category: Conscience

Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!

Category: Critics And Criticism

To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own.

Category: Critics And Criticism

In art economy is always beauty.

Category: Editing And Editors

If I were to live my life over again, I would be an American. I would steep myself in America, I would know no other land.

Category: Exile

Deep experience is never peaceful.

Category: Experience

Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Category: Experience