Accepting Nominations for the 2017 Dorothy Ross Prize The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Dorothy Ross Prize for best article in US intellectual history by an emerging scholar (defined as […]
Society for U. S. Intellectual History 2017 Annual Book Award The Society for U. S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is pleased to announce its Annual Book Award for the best book in U.S. intellectual history. The book should be a work […]
Call for Papers: “Histories of Memory, Memories of History” Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Conference Oct. 26-29, 2017 Plano, TX The Society for U.S. Intellectual History invites proposals for its 2017 conference, to be held Oct. 26-29, 2017 at […]
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I recently read a section of Henry James’ travelogue The American Scene (1907) with students in a course I teach called “International Vistas: the U.S. Viewed from Abroad.” The book is under-appreciated among historians. James’ thoughts on white Southern Americans and the memory of the Civil War is remarkably sophisticated, for example. His take American architecture in New York is wonderful (no surprise there). My students found the James who appears in the text baffling for his elaborate prose, so we had fun translating it. It rewards careful, slow reading. He takes everything in.
Here are some translations of parts of his section on New York, “New York Revisited.” I should mention that this goes against the spirit of the text in certain ways, robbing the reader of some of its pleasure. A great part of the fun comes from following James as he leads up to these sections, seeing how he transitions to them. So, with apologies for having done violence to the book, here goes: