February 22, 2006

Henry James's Testicles: A Borgesian Tale

An essay on Henry James's testicles, arguing that at some point in his life, James severely damaged them, perhaps even on purpose. To cut to the chase a bit, here is James's own narration of what may have been the ummm.... point of this investigation:
Jammed into the acute angle between two high fences, where the rhythmic play of my arms, in tune with that of several other pairs, but at a dire disadvantage of positions, induced a rural, a rusty, a quasi-extemporised old engine to work and saving the stream to flow, I had done myself a horrid even if obscure hurt; and what was interesting from the first was my not doubting in the least its duration - though what seemed equally clear was that I needn't as a matter of course adopt and appropriate it, so to speak, or place it for increase of interest on exhibition.
That writing style is eerily reminiscent of someone... can't think who...

No, seriously, this is a hilarious essay and you must read it, particularly because it ends so differently than it began.

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