Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I Report, You Decide

Is Henry James’s “The Portrait of a Lady” the Great American Novel? 


Bud said...

Well, at least a case was made. I appreciate James as an great "idea" writer, regardless of all the Literary Establishment gushing over his "writing style" (not to denigrate his style which is very good indeed).
In so far as The GAN can ever be said to have been written (it can't 8-)) I think Thomas Wolfe has the best shot at it. I agree with William Faulkner when he stated that Wolfe was the finest writer of his (Faulkner's) generation, not for what he succeeded in writing, but for what he attempted.

Greg Daniel said...

To a certain degree the honorific of "The Great American Novel" is generational, but at it's core has to encompass individualism and exploration. Why? Because I decided that those are the two "core values" of being American. ;-) With that in mind, I split my vote between Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby.

Deb said...

Moby Dick or The Sound and the Fury. As much as I
like James, his focus was on too narrow a group (upper-class American ex-pats and the Europeans who exploited them) to have written novels with truly universal themes.

/I'm sure no one will disagree with that argument.

Bud said...

Deb: "I do not disagree, but I cannot concur." 8-)