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The Sacred Fount Paperback – August 12, 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

James's 1901 novel is his only first-person narrative. The action is seen through the eyes of an unnamed narrator, a novelist attending a weekend party at an English estate. As the story progresses, the narrator begins to detect vast changes in his fellow guests as they begin taking on each other's personalities.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Herzberg Press (August 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445508370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445508375
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First let's negotiate! I refuse to be held responsible if you, dear reader, attempt this book and find it unbearably verbose, obtuse, and tedious. I do not recommend it unless: a. you are already convinced of the special genius of Henry James, b. you relish books that are extremely convoluted, almost puzzle-like, in which the chief delight is to be found in the sense that you can grasp what the devil the author is up to (Nabokov's 'Pale Fire' is such a book), c. you have a demonic ability to keep track of details, to 'fix' items of syntax in your short term memory with enough attention to recompose them into units of meaning, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter, at least retentively enough to arrive at the last page with an impression, however vague, of the whole book.

Nothing happens. Nothing! If anything has happened, outside the framework of the book, you'll never know what it was, though being of a mind similar to Henry James's, you'll be endlessly stimulated by wondering what it might have been. The whole inaction takes place in one day. The narrator sets off early, by train, for a country estate, Newmarch, to spend the day immersed in his social circle of 'brilliant' friends. [The narrator is never given a name, but no one could mistake the truth that it's James himself. Thus the whole novel is a kind of confession, an embarrassed self-vivisection, of a man whose entire life consists of insufferable curiosity about the lives of others. James is revealing his own methodology of observation, obsessive/compulsive eavesdropping, the perhaps slightly repulsive basis of all his writing.
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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.
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Format: Paperback
The Sacred Fount is the first great modernist novel, as well asan ignored one. The plot is kind of odd. The narrator, at a weekendparty, thinks that he is observing some sort of vampire-like transactions of vitality between the guests. He spends the next two days trying to find who has vampiric control over whom. Odd, but brilliant. END
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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.
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