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The American

Paperback - 04 December 2014
James, Henry (Author)
Rp 307,000
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The title-character of The American, Christopher Newman, is introduced, with sly condescension, as an awkward American, a westerner who has earned 'quite a bundle' in manufacturing and stock-jobbing. He's a caricature of the brash self-made democrat, confident and in fact intrepid, but aware of his own astonishing naivete and shallowness of culture. He's cashed in his chips, at age 38, and came to Europe knowing that he's looking for something more than 'success in business' but totally ignorant of what that something might be. In the course of things touristic, he sets out on the Grand Tour, a summer chasing culture from Amsterdam to the Alps to Venice, at the end of which he has little more insight than he started with. When he returns to Paris, it comes back to him "simply that what he had been looking at all summer was a very rich and beautiful world, and that it had not all been made by sharp railroad men and stock-brokers."

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