Arguably the most popular and critically successful of James' longer works, The Aspern Papers tells the story of a poetry enthusiast and aspiring biographer driven to desperate lengths to procure the last letters of a recently passed American poet, Jeffrey Aspern. Reflecting many of James' own reservations about publicity and biographical exploitation, The Aspern Papers remains a powerful defense of the dignity and privacy that should be afforded all authors in life and in death.
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by Henry James
by James Hynes
by Henry David Thoreau
"A plot, according to some critics, starts with a person with a problem. The unnamed narrator of this classic, ably narrated by Adam Sims, doesn't even know what his real problem is. Sims brings to life the protagonist's pursuit of some papers concerning the fictional poet Jeffrey Aspern, revealing along the way just how unaware he is of the effects of his actions on those around him. There is a considerable challenge in portraying a character who only inches toward self-awareness. Sims makes him sound young, callow, and almost--but not quite--likable. The narrator's treatment of Tita Bordereau is callous, but Sims makes clear just who gains and who loses from the connection. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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