R422 Spring 2019 Christopher Newman and Lambert Strether in Paris
Class limit: 12
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, May 7–May 14
Instructors: Linda Blair, Nancy Scheeler
Two of Henry James’s novels—The American and The Ambassadors—examine the same subject, American males in Paris and their sensibilities regarding American and European cultures. Published 26 years apart, in 1877 and 1903 respectively, the novels are prime examples of not only early and late James in terms of style (Romanticism; the modern novel) and substance (interpersonal relationships; the sense of homeland) but also the rich complexities of his characters and their inner lives. The two-session class will allow fans of James to engage in a minimum of lecture and a maximum of focused discussion. Well before the class, we will select and disseminate related, thematic passages from The American and The Ambassadors, plus literary criticism for participants to read before class and then discuss during class. Reading both novels before the class will enrich the experience but will not be necessary.
Linda Blair holds a doctorate in American literature from The George Washington University. Nancy Scheeler holds a master’s degree in English and American literature from the University of Maryland. Both lovers of Henry James, they hope at least a few OLLI members share that love and will join them for discussion.