Talk:Henry James

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Ellipsis[edit]

This article has a quotation from The Ambassadors (1903) which goes as follows:

"Live all you can — it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?... What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that...The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.... Live!"

As can be seen, ellipsis has been used three times. I've discovered, upon bringing up the question on a Wikiquote discussion forum, that no one else objects to ellipsis in the citing of quotations; or at least they don't object on principle, as opposed to particular instances. For this reason, rather than edit the quotation to fill in the missing sentences, I'll include the passage here on this talk page instead:

"Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? This place and these impressions — mild as you may find them to wind a man up so; all my impressions of Chad and of people I've seen at his place — well, have had their abundant message for me, have just dropped that into my mind. I see it now. I haven't done so enough before — and now I'm old; too old at any rate for what I see. Oh I do see, at least; and more than you'd believe or I can express. It's too late. And it's as if the train had fairly waited at the station for me without my having had the gumption to know it was there. Now I hear its faint receding whistle miles and miles down the line. What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that. The affair — I mean the affair of life — couldn't, no doubt, have been different for me; for it's at the best a tin mould, either fluted and embossed, with ornamental excrescences, or else smooth and dreadfully plain, into which, a helpless jelly, one's consciousness is poured — so that one 'takes' the form as the great cook says, and is more or less compactly held by it: one lives in fine as one can. Still, one has the illusion of freedom; therefore don't be, like me, without the memory of that illusion. I was either, at the right time, too stupid or too intelligent to have it; I don't quite know which. Of course at present I'm a case of reaction against the mistake; and the voice of reaction should, no doubt, always be taken with an allowance. But that doesn't affect the point that the right time is now yours. The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have. You've plenty; that's the great thing; you're, as I say, damn you, so happily and hatefully young. Don't at any rate miss things out of stupidity. Of course I don't take you for a fool, or I shouldn't be addressing you thus awfully. Do what you like so long as you don't make my mistake. For it was a mistake. Live!" - The Ambassadors, Bk. 5, Ch. 2. - InvisibleSun 18:15, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced or inadequately sourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Henry James. --Antiquary 18:43, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I've always been interested in people, but I've never liked them.
  • It's time to start living the life you've imagined.
  • Life is a predicament which precedes death.
  • Excellence does not require perfection