“It’s a strange, compulsive business, the urge to make plays. To act in them, or write ‘em, or produce ‘em. It’s no use appealing to reason.” That’s Henry James counseling a friend in Author, Author, a novel (2004) by British writer and retired literature professor David Lodge. I just read this well-told tale about the failed playwright and posthumously esteemed novelist Henry James (1843-1916).
James, frustrated at midcareer with his fiction’s lack of popularity, tried to find success and improve his income by turning to the stage. Oh, what fools these mortals be!