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by Adrian Poole,Henry James

ePub What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics) download
Author:
Adrian Poole,Henry James
ISBN13:
978-0199538591
ISBN:
019953859X
Language:
Publisher:
Oxford University Press; 2 edition (August 3, 2009)
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Subcategory:
Humanities
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1979 kb
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1466 kb
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Rating:
4.8
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594

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Adrian Poole is Reader in English and Comparative Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Adrian Poole is Reader in English and Comparative Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge. Series: Oxford World's Classics. Paperback: 336 pages.

What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge .

What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on. . Neglected and exploited by everyone around her, Maisie inspires James to dwell with extraordinary acuteness on the things that may pass between adult and child.

Study What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics) discussion and chapter questions and find What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics) study guide questions and . Get started today for free.

Study What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics) discussion and chapter questions and find What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics) study guide questions and answers. By College By High School By Country.

Henry James What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics). Published by Oxford University Press, USA (1998)

Henry James What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics). ISBN 13: 9780192835918. What Maisie Knew (Oxford World's Classics). What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. Mothers and fathers keep changing their partners and names, while she herself becomes the pretext for all sorts of adult sexual intrigue. Published by Oxford University Press, USA (1998). ISBN 10: 0192835912 ISBN 13: 9780192835918.

What Maisie Knew (Paperback). Published September 8th 2014 by Classic Henry James: What Maisie Knew.

ISBN: 019953859X (ISBN13: 9780199538591). What Maisie Knew (Paperback). Published July 23rd 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA. Paperback, 336 pages.

item 7 Oxford World's Classics: What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Paperback, softback) -Oxford World's Classics: What . Adrian Poole is Reader in English and Comparative Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge

item 7 Oxford World's Classics: What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Paperback, softback) -Oxford World's Classics: What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Paperback, softback). Last oneFree postage. Country of Publication.

First published in 1897. Duke Classics does not accept responsibility for loss suffered as a result of reliance upon the accuracy or currency of information contained in this book.

Producer Oxford University Press. What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James"s finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality

Producer Oxford University Press. Year of production 1998. What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James"s finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. In this classic tale of the death of childhood, there is a savage comedy that owes much to Dickens.

What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world. Mothers and fathers keep changing their partners and names, while she herself becomes the pretext for all sorts of adult sexual intrigue. In this classic tale of the death of childhood, there is a savage comedy that owes much to Dickens. But for his portrayal of the child's capacity for intelligent `wonder', James summons all the subtlety he devotes elsewhere to his most celebrated adult protagonists. Neglected and exploited by everyone around her, Maisie inspires James to dwell with extraordinary acuteness on the things that may pass between adult and child. In addition to a new introduction, this edition of the novel offers particularly detailed notes, bibliography, and a list of variant readings.About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
  • Henry James' wordiness and stylistic intricacy are proverbial. They are, for the most part, what has kept me away from his novels, but after reading and enjoying _Washington Square_ (1880) I thought it would be a good idea to try another one of his shorter novels before tackling, say, _The Portrait of a Lady_ (1881) or _The Wings of the Dove_ (1902). _What Maisie Knew_ (1897) seemed to be the best candidate. It is considered to be one of his major works, and one of his most interesting. Its themes have remained relevant, maybe unfortunately so, even 120 years after the novel was published. Beautifully crafted and not marred by obscurity, _What Maisie Knew_ is an engaging novel with a highly sympathetic protagonist.

    Maisie is a small child of undetermined age whose life, as the novel begins, changes dramatically as a result of her parents' divorce. Her father, Beale, and her mother, Ida, are what we may call--for the sake of simplicity--a mess: irresponsible, frivolous, selfish, promiscuous. They are too similar to each other, but given their lifestyle, in their case this likeness does not result in compatibility, and they simply despise each other. The court decides that Maisie will spend six months at a time with each of her parents. She is, as the narrator puts it, "disposed of in a manner worthy of the judgement-seat of Solomon. She was divided in two and the portions tossed impartially to the disputants." The tossing, unfortunately, doesn't end there. As the narrative develops, Maisie will be tossed from father to stepfather, from nanny to stepmother, from mother to lover, etc. Maisie is looking for something that resembles a family, but the adults around her are too busy pursuing their own selfish interests.

    _What Maisie Knew_ is an excellent and brutal depiction of adult immaturity. The attitude of most adult characters in the novel towards the child is simply appalling, particularly that of her parents. Of them, it is said that "they had wanted [Maisie] not for any good they could do to her, but for the harm they could, with her unconscious aid, do each other." This description, which takes place in the novel's prologue, is an accurate description of the story's central problem. Maisie is, in a way, an intersection of the lives of several adults who use her for their own purposes. She is, to borrow a phrase from T. S. Eliot, "the still point of the turning world:" as adults make and dissolve alliances around her, she is clear about what she wants. Like the sophisticated children in Penelope Fitzgerald's novels (see _Offshore_ or _At Freddie's_), she is wiser than the adults that should be taking care of her. The reader can only hope that she will manage to remain innocent in the midst of corruption.

    The novel is also a romance of sorts. When we read a Jane Austen novel for the first time, we wonder who the heroine is "going to end up with." The reader will wonder the same of Maisie. The fact that this heroine is not looking for a romantic partner but for a family makes matters even more complicated, as she must first find a man and a woman who at least tolerate each other, and then worry about whether they want her or not. Throughout the novel, characters will alternately want Maisie or see her as an obstacle to get rid of, and the attitudes of a single character will change according to the circumstances.

    As I suggested in my first paragraph, James' style is quite under control in _What Maisie Knew_. It seems to me that the novel drags a bit in the middle, but it is only for a moment. I read the last third of the novel non-stop. I feel _Washington Square_ (see my review) did a better job at holding my attention throughout, but in terms of plot _What Maisie Knew_ is much more interesting, its main character easier to sympathize with, and its themes more relatable. One of the obvious messages of this novel is that children are a huge responsibility, and that some parents do not consider the consequences of bringing a child into the world. Another, more positive, message is that immaturity does not necessarily breed immaturity. _What Maisie Knew_ does not offer simplistic answers to complex questions. It merely throws light on the life of a child who is forced to make adult decisions.

    Finally, a few words about the latest film adaptation (David Siegel & Scott McGehee, 2012), which I saw right after reading the novel. The movie is excellent, elegantly shot, and marvelously acted (especially by Onata Aprile, who plays Maisie, and Julianne Moore, who plays her mother), but purists should be warned that it makes major changes to the story. In the film, the action takes place in New York in modern times. This attests to the universality and the relevance of James' novel. The occupations of Maisie's parents have been changed: her mother is a rock singer, while her father is an art dealer. Their lifestyles, in other words, clash with the responsibility of raising a child, while in the novel James' characters would have plenty of time to devote to Maisie if they only wished to. The stepparents in the movie also experience difficulties. One of them, for instance, is a bartender who does not make much money, so he must work quite a few hours. The film, then, introduces a theme to which many viewers will relate, namely that our modern way of life does not exactly promote the healthy raising of children. Parents who spend quality time with their kids while working full time are true heroes. In a sense, the film is more understanding of the parents and stepparents. Two other modifications are worthy of mention: a crucial character from the novel, Mrs. Wix, is given only a few minutes of screen time in the film, and the movie also alters the ending completely, offering (surprisingly) a more hopeful conclusion. As I said, the film is a great work of art in itself, but keep in mind that--like even the most "faithful" adaptations--it is only that, an adaptation, a version of the original text. (Alright, so my "few words" turned almost into a review of the film...)

    My next Henry James will probably be one of his long short stories, but I plan to read _The Portrait of a Lady_ (relatively) soon.

    Thanks for reading, and enjoy the book!

  • Forget the recent movie version. This is the real thing. Henry James brilliantly portrays the machinations of self-absorbed parents and step-parents, but more importantly, he illuminates the mind of a child who knows more than she should and tries to process that knowledge within the limitations of her experience. We witness her gradual corruption and ultimate redemption. There is one major reason all Henry James films fail: he writes about the life within as much or more than the life without. This is not an easy read, but utterly compelling. I first read this book thirty years ago. I am so glad to have reread it again.

  • I admittedly picked this up after watching the modern take on this story (movie starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard) and wondered how it would align with Henry James.
    I won't discuss the movie (although, good job of finding a modern way to tell this story and keep not just the essence, but this very strong theme of watching self-indulgent adults who never should've had a child.)
    Note: It's undoubted that Henry James was a literary master, but I'm going to pick at this anyway.
    The novel
    It is really difficult to actually like anybody in this story.
    Even the child, who is seemingly a victim of callous, ego-centric parents. By the end, she seems to want to pit people against each other. That may have actually been her 'being the responsible one', but since James doesn't really let me know what Maisie is thinking here, I can't really tell. It's not evident what her motives are. For a while, it seems she herself has a bit of a crush on her various 'parental figures', so as a reader I'm not clear if her motives are just self-serving attempts at attention or what.
    Throughout, I'm not really sure how old Maisie is. And in that light, I'm not sure Mr. James knows how old she is either. We start out being told she's quite young, but it sure seems years progress, and it's hard to tell how many. The phrasing tends to leave one believing it couldn't have been more than a few years, but by the end, this girl has a level of perception and language that I've not seen in one so young. It made me wonder if Mr. James actually knew any kids or if he was just writing an adult character in a small body. If the author's desire is to have a story about someone wholly controlled and at the mercy of others, it is entirely convenient to make that person a child. Maisie doesn't come across as a child in the reading, unlike just about everyone else in the book.
    The constant and repetitive scenarios in which the reader must anticipate 'will she/won't she' (or 'will he/won't he') middle-school behavior was exhausting. Frankly, I could've done with about three less chapters of that.
    So, overall, it's a weird one for me.
    I can only assume that in its day, this book was a political statement lambasting adults that behaved irresponsibly in regards to the parenting of their children. Perhaps within the context of its time, Maisie is a hero of her own story by choosing the responsible person in the end. But really, was she the one that made that choice?

  • James's middle-period style is less complex than the prose of his 'major phase,' but still may be off-putting to those who want a crisply told tale. But it is his style that makes for the richness of this narrative. Imagine: he uses language appropriate to a mature, well educated, cultivated adult, but limits his perceptions to those of which a girl of ten would be capable. We see what she sees, and infer what she misses, as she is shunted back and forth as the result of an increasingly messy divorce. Tender and heartbreaking, it is also artistically exhilarating.

  • It isn't really the kind of book I like. Written like other books of its era and genre, it does tend to go on and on. And on. A Reader's Digest version would be much better.
    However, you do feel for and with Maisie. She is a little girl that no one wants except one wizened old woman. No one wants her because, to a greater or lesser extent, she interferes with the various and divers sexual dalliances.
    Sad, but sadly, her plight is unremarkable.