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Ett kvinnoporträtt (1881)

av Henry James

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
9,426107558 (3.9)9 / 705
Follows the story of American heiress Isabel as she visits Europe to find her own destiny, is pursued by suitors, and ultimately must make a tragic choice.
  1. 70
    Daniel Deronda : roman av George Eliot (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Surprised this recommendation hasn't already been made ... scholars throughout the years have noted Gwendolen Harleth's influence upon James in creating Isabel Archer.
  2. 60
    Glädjens hus av Edith Wharton (carlym)
  3. 71
    Howards End av E. M. Forster (carlym)
  4. 71
    Tess av d'Urberville av Thomas Hardy (roby72)
  5. 31
    Anna Karenina av Leo Tolstoy (Nickelini)
  6. 20
    Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece av Michael Gorra (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Non-fiction work detailing the story behind the novel's writing.
  7. 10
    Blindskär : [roman] av Edith Wharton (noveltea)
  8. 00
    The Way We Live Now (Wordsworth Classics) av Anthony Trollope (Crypto-Willobie)
  9. 01
    Indian Summer av William Dean Howells (Bjace)
    Bjace: Howells ventures into Henry James territory with this tale of an American expatriate in Florence who is caught between two women. Howells teases the reader by starting to write a Henry James ending and then doing something quite different.
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engelska (99)  nederländska (1)  franska (1)  spanska (1)  tyska (1)  italienska (1)  portugisiska (1)  hebreiska (1)  Alla språk (106)
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Portrait was the first James I read, many years ago, and I enjoyed it enough that I've read almost all the rest of his novels (Casamassima can wait until I have my eternal rest) and the best known stories. So, it did the trick there. On re-reading, I confess to being a bit disappointed. The first third (we meet Isabel) is perfectly charming; the middle third (Isabel meets Osmond) is kind of a mess; and the final third (we meet the 'real' Osmond) just brings home how nonsensical the middle third is. All of this is because of my love for the later James.

That love comes from his turn away from plot, towards interpretation: what interests him is watching his characters try to make sense of the world, including themselves and their own actions. In Portrait, we get only a tiny bit of that, and instead a whole lot of plot, which was never James' strong suit. This is all made terribly obvious by the statement and restatement, by narrator and characters, that these people don't know why they do what they do, and that nobody can find out. We do finally learn why Madame Merle acts as she does, but even then it's resolved at the level of plot--a character, one who otherwise gives no sign of intelligence whatsoever, just blurts it out.

All of what works here carries over into the later novels (problems of love, of pain, of loss, of confusion), but it's done with much more skill and craft and insight in the second half of James' career. It's also much harder to read, and I understand why people might rather stick with Portrait. And I'm going to read a book about this one, in the hope that it changes my mind.

But I have a hard time imagining that I'll pick this up for a third time. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
"—it was her only revenge:"
  AAAO | Oct 14, 2020 |
I don't feel I'm being uncharitable in calling this book a tedious slog. We spend a great deal of time deep inside the heads of various characters, but somehow this doesn't provide us with any particular insight into any sort of motivations that make sense. Isabel Archer rejects a couple of marriage proposals from decent but dulls sorts of men, then marries the laziest, most snobbish man to appear in the book, with the courtship, engagement, and wedding taking place almost entirely off stage, so we never get to see them falling in love in a way that it would make sense. Gilbert Osmond is loathsome when we meet him, and loathsome during the marriage.

The novel is redeemed somewhat in it's supporting cast. Pretty much any scene with Isabel's friend Henrietta is a hoot. In fact, most of the scenes involving dialogue are great. Unfortunately, there's just too much time spent in Isabel's head as she struggles with her regrets, and as she seems to find excuse after excuse to remain in a miserable marriage. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
The Portrait of a Lady is a brilliant book about human manipulation, love, and marriage that shows just how important real-life experience is to making the right choices in life. While the focus of the novel is on the pitfalls of a young woman, making the dilemmas she faces somewhat particular to her gender, nonetheless there is plenty to be learned by all readers of this book, regardless of gender. I, for instance, first read this book right after I got married and firmly resolved that, as a reader of literature, I would never become a "sterile dilettante" like Gilbert Osmond. It is only now, three years divorced and much wiser about life, that I recognize that Osmond had never been my danger - like Isabel (and to an extent, like her cousin Ralph Touchett) my true pitfall lay in my romantic naivete. The deeper point is that this is a novel about wisdom, a clearheaded and penetrating look at the ways in which human beings lay the groundwork for their own misery.

The plot revolves around Isabel Archer, a young American who wishes to assert her independence and experience the world, an ambition that leads her to turn down excellent marriage proposals from the English aristocrat Lord Warburton and the rich American industrialist Caspar Goodwood. She is befriended in her sojourn by Mme Merle, a widow who in many ways is the woman that Isabel aspires to become. Mme Merle, in turn, introduces Isabel to Gilbert Osmond, an ambitious but relatively poor American living in Florence with his daughter Pansy, whose interest in Isabel as a person is difficult to disentangle from his interest in the fortune she inherited from her rich uncle near the book's beginning. The Portrait of a Lady is a long novel, but it never sags because of the way James divides up the story into different narrative arcs: Isabel's initial impressions of Europe, for instance, the encounters with her suitors, and so on.

Isabel's problems emerge from the contradictions of her own romantic nature. Her ideas about life are drawn largely from the novels she has read, and she uncritically equates emotional stimulation with experience. She is also, as her friend Henrietta Stackpole observes, someone who is too eager to please, willing to sacrifice herself to avoid the displeasure of others. James examines how this kind of quixotic character, while immensely charming in some ways, is turned into a puppet by those with a more clear-eyed view of the world. Indeed, the entire plot is built on an intricately woven web of lies and deceit that is somehow simple and yet, because of the genius for ambiguity with which James infuses both his characters and his prose, remains psychologically complex. My favorite example is when Isabel asks Mme Merle, "What have you to do with me?" and the latter replies: "Everything." Thus, Mme Merle confesses her deceitfulness (which the reader, but not Isabel, knows about all along), and yet does so in a manner that is so void of details, so utterly opaque that it tells us nothing more.

The Victorian era was a time of stifling conformity, and often this atmosphere can force novels from that period into having an unhappily forced conventional ending (see my review of Lady Audley's Secret, for instance). In this book, though, James turns that premise on its head, so that it is not the strange and subversive that the readers finds threatening, but rather the return to normality and the enforcement of the marriage contract. James pays lip service to the conventional Victorian ending, but it is a conclusion that is so chilling, so upsetting, that readers can only look upon it as a tragedy. The Portrait of a Lady does require some patience, but it is without doubt one of the greatest novels of all time. ( )
  vernaye | May 23, 2020 |
Read, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 15, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Henry Jamesprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Aiken, JoanInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Anderson, Charles RobertsInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Cargill, OscarEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Cohn, JanRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Edel, LeonRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Heer, Inge deÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Jonkers, JohannesÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Krüger, LoreÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Luckhurst, RogerRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
McGovern, ElizabethBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Millett, Fred B.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Millett, Fred B.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Moore, GeoffreyRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Neilson, William AllanRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Stallman, R. W.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Toibin, ColmEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Updike, JohnInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Van Hageland, A.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
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Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
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Her reputation of reading a great deal hung about her like the cloudy envelope of a goddess in an epic.
It may be affirmed without delay that Isabel was probably very liable to the sin of self-esteem....
You are rich when you can meet the demands of your imagination.
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Follows the story of American heiress Isabel as she visits Europe to find her own destiny, is pursued by suitors, and ultimately must make a tragic choice.

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Medelbetyg: (3.9)
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Penguin Australia

2 utgåvor av den här boken publicerades av Penguin Australia.

Utgåvor: 0141441267, 0141199121

Tantor Media

En utgåva av denna bok gavs ut av Tantor Media.

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