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Broadcaster: BBC Radio 3
Year: 2013
Genre: Documentary
URL: http://bobnational.net/record/143830

Review by Lisa Smalley

This fifteen minute discussion performance by Tessa Hadley celebrates the style of Henry James.  She describes how the complexity of sentence and story line appealed to her as an adolescent, adding a depth of detail and reassurance during that troubling time of development.

A reading from James’s last published novel, ‘The Golden Bowl’ is given and that passage analysed.  Hadley compares James’s style to that of a baroque framed mirror, with the complicated twists and turns in language and relationships within the novel resembling the ornamental twists and turns of the frame.  The dense language, littered with colloquialisms ‘as who should say’ and lacking in commas, give his sentences a distinctive sound.

Students will find this radio short of interest, but should be prepared to take notes, as it is as detailed as it is short.

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