Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here are Henry and Williams James at Lamb House in September, 1900.

I like how the younger brother seems to fit himself into the embrace of the older brother, his head tilted affectionately and obliquely toward his sibling, submitting to William's brotherly gesture and mimicking his right-foot-forward stance while remaining at the same time supremely in possession of himself, closed, inscrutable despite the apparent directness of his gaze. The older brother's pose seems more natural, more candid and open.

I imagine them standing awkwardly while the photographer pauses to take the picture, and at the last moment William reaches out his arm to draw Henry in. Henry surrenders, inclining his head toward William in acknowledgement of the gesture. But he doesn't reciprocate in kind.

Is there an element of Jamesian renunciation in the refusal? Or is it simply fear -- fear of a directness in human relations that, for his all greatness, he rarely approached even in his art?


Blogger Jeff said...

"And what do you think they have hidden away, in the cabinet cold of their hearts..?"

September 27, 2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

". . . the penguins, the moonglows, the oreos, and the five satins," of course.

September 27, 2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Ooops, that's the orioles.

Dang! I wanted to get it exactly right and impress you with my knowledge of pop music trivia.

September 27, 2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Oh, in a song about Magritte, I think it's quite okay to alter the lyrics to mention Oreos.

September 27, 2006 11:36 PM  

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