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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Quick Dip into the Stylish Prose of Henry James, 24. August 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Daisy Miller (English Edition) (Kindle Edition)
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." -- Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)

Daisy Miller is the essence of a well-written novella: deep characterizations developed through a variety of interactions, minimal prose to capture a point, carefully balanced action that rounds out a message, plenty of exhibition of internal thoughts and feelings, and stark contrasts in personal philosophies. While brief, this book contains enough food for thought to provide entertaining dinner conversation for years.

Although Daisy Miller is the title character and the most appealing character in the book, Henry James uses Frederick Winterbourne to convey his points, both as narrator and as an American expatriate who is not at home entirely in either Europe or the United States. Winterbourne finds much that is appealing about Daisy Miller, but he's also concerned about maintaining his social standing in the expatriate community, a community that's filled with concerns about appearances.

Daisy Miller is what might call a 20th century woman, emancipated from concerns about money by having a rich father, free to try her hand at life because her mother is overwhelmed by her parental responsibilities, and filled with enthusiasm for life. Embracing American values of taking everyone in as a fellow human, her behavior drives the expatriates wild.

Lest you think it's all about freedom versus social snobbery, James takes pains to point out that there are real costs when freedom is misused.

So no one gets a free pass in this novella. That's a major part of its charm. All the characters have weaknesses, flaws, and vulnerabilities. That makes them, well, almost human.

While some characters are drawn in very negative terms, it's more for contrast with Daisy ... rather than as a deliberate attempt to create cartoon characters.

Some of the scenes are so beautifully written they'll take your breath away with the possibilities that they evoke. That's the brilliance of James at work. Enjoy those!
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