Books: Return of the Expatriate

THE AMERICAN SCENE (501 pp.)—Henry James, with an introduction by W. H. Auden—Scribner's ($5).

When Henry James returned to the U.S. for a long visit in 1904, he had been an expatriate for more than a quarter of a century. He had communed with Europe and had brought the art of the novel to a perfection probably unequaled since. The American Scene, his impressions of the U.S. (actually only the eastern seaboard) represents the Master at the height of his cultivation, endlessly receptive, endlessly scrupulous, endlessly amused.

It is clear that beneath his urbanity...

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