Reading Henry James with Jim Kraft

  • Saturday, November 07, 2020
  • Saturday, February 27, 2021
  • 5 sessions
  • Saturday, November 07, 2020, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Saturday, December 05, 2020, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Saturday, January 09, 2021, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Saturday, February 06, 2021, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Saturday, February 27, 2021, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Online via Zoom


Reading Henry James
with James Kraft

Saturdays, November 7, 2020- February 27, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm  

Online via Zoom: registration required

Longtime OLLI instructor James Kraft will lead a new monthly course entitled "Reading Henry James," starting on Saturday, November 7th at 3pm, and continuing monthly on Saturdays at 3pm through February 27.

Registration is $50 for OLLI at BCC members, and $65 for non-members.  Click here to register. 

Considered one of the greatest writers in English, Henry James is known for his psychological insight into his characters, and for his provocative prose.  The prose is considered to have three phases: early narratives that are accessible portraits of his time; more challenging narratives and prose called the middle periods; the late and complex style that embodies his most challenging perceptions.  The discussion will examine the three phases in the reading of James's major novels and tales.

Reading Schedule:

  • Saturday 11/7/20: The Europeans (1878) & Daisy Miller (1878)

    • Note-- there are excellent film adaptations of both:  "The Europeans" (1979) directed by Merchant and Ivory and starring Lee Remick; "Daisy Miller" (1974) directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Cybill Shepherd
      • Saturday 12/5/20: The Portrait of a Lady (1880)

      This was adapted into a 1998 film directed by Jane Campion and starring Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Park, Christian Bale, John Gielgud and many others

      Please read again any work that you have already read.  A second reading of James is a different and exciting experience.  NOTE: Henry James is not a quick read; we recommend starting the readings well in advance of the discussion session.

      Reading Henry James is led by longtime OLLI literature instructor James Kraft, who attended Princeton, King’s College, Cambridge University, and Fordham.  He has a doctorate in literature and has taught at the University of Virginia, Université Laval in Quebec City, and Wesleyan in Connecticut.  He was assistant director of the Whitney Museum for eight years, and now teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College and at the New York Society Library in New York City.

      In addition to the above films that supplement the readings, there are several other film adaptations of Henry James--

      • "The Innocents" (1961) based on "The Turn of the Screw"-- directed by Jack Clayton and starring Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins
      • "The Heiress" (1949) based on "Washington Square"-- directed by William Wyler and starring Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson
      • "What Maisey Knew" (2012)-- directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, and starring Julianne Moore, Alexander Skardsgard, Onata Aprile and more
      • "The Wings of the Dove" (1997)-- directed by Iain Softley and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache and Alison Elliot
      • "The Golden Bowl" (2000)-- directed by James Ivory and starring Kate Beckinsale, Nick Nolte, Anjelica Huston, Uma Thurman and more

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