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The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern,... Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 33,839
Neurons: 100,695
Location: Inside Farlex computers
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it—this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.

Henry James (1843-1916)
MTC1
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:07:53 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/12/2012
Posts: 11
Neurons: 33
Location: China
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every airborne particle in its tissue. It is the very atmosphere of the mind; and when the mind is imaginative- much more when it happens to be that of a man of genius- it takes to itself the faintest hints of life, it converts the very pulses of the air into revelations... The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implication of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it- this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.... If experience consists of impressions, it may be said that impressions are experience just as (have we not seen it?) they are the very air we breathe. Therefore, if I should certainly say to a novice, "Write from experience and experience only," I should feel that this was rather a tantalising monition if I were not careful immediately to add, "Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!"

Henry James, "The Art of Fiction," 1888

P.S. On a personal note, thanks to a technical glitch I have been demoted to Newbie status, and given a new name and identity, MTC1, almost like a Mafioso in a witness protection program. Outed now, though...

MTC

FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:52:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,768
Neurons: 75,232
Age and experience can be a wonderful advantage if they are used to grow in knowledge and wisdom. Too often, they are not. I admire the thought process James describes here, especially the fuller context provided by MTC.

I once was asked by a teenager, after a lengthy discussion, why older people saw the world so completely differently. On the spur of the moment, I commented that, when young, the world is like a pencil drawing, on maturity, it is more like a painting, and in older years, it is like a tapestry.

She surprised me by being awed at that, stating that she wanted the tapestry. She may do well in life, I think. One can only hope.

BTW, welcome back MTC. You have been through several metamorphoses. One more, and you will be back at your starting point....Dancing
RubyMoon
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:12:31 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2009
Posts: 1,663
Neurons: 4,834
Location: United States
Great to see MTC and FounDit again "on the same page" !

Some additional links and related information:

The Art of Fiction

Henry James - Quotes & References

Henry James - Analysis of Hawthorne
jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:58:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
Posts: 2,425
Neurons: 14,289
A wise man learns from the experience of others, the fool by his own. ;?
Anatolian
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 1:24:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2009
Posts: 144
Neurons: 79,198
Location: Keçiören, Ankara, Turkey
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