At which point, exactly, does a deceased human being become public property? The narrator of the novella is a devotee of Jeffrey Aspern, a famous American poet of the early 19th century, who had died young. To the narrator, these historically significant papers are nothing short of an obsession. Juliana sees through the narrator, and she and he both try to manipulate each other. His friend a fellow scholar had written to the woman, named Juliana, about the letters and received a harsh reply stating that they did not exist.
However, they are convinced that she does in fact have such letters, and the narrator is determined to lay his hands on the precious documents. The narrator is too upright a citizen to simply break in and steal the letters, but he's not above good, old-fashioned deception. Juliana and her niece Tita live alone in a huge house.
The narrator presents himself as a scholar looking for a place to stay and study, who would also renovate their old, run-down garden for them. The only people inside are Juliana, her middle-aged grand-niece Tita, and their maidservant Olimpia.
Without revealing his identity or his interest in Aspern, the narrator says that he is an American scholar who wishes to pay for lodging in the house.
Juliana accepts the proposal and charges the narrator a high price. Tita informs the narrator that Juliana wants the money so that she has money to leave to Tita when Juliana dies. Juliana and Tita are highly reclusive. Critical evaluation[ edit ] James thought so highly of this story that he put it first in volume 12 of The New York Edition, ahead of even The Turn of the Screw. Critics have almost unanimously agreed with him about the tale's superb quality. Leon Edel wrote, "The story moves with the rhythmic pace and tension of a mystery story; and the double climax It was subsequently revised, with the addition of a Preface and changes including "Miss Tita" being renamed to "Miss Tina", for the New York Edition.
A modern adaptation of the novella by Henry James. Hero solaces Tina and asks her about the plans for future. Tin is at a loss and has not decided anything yet. The hero asks her about his letters. He gets to know that Tina prevented Juliana to burn them. Tina has them now, but she does not dare to give them to the hero - because Juliana guarded them from prying eyes so jealously.
Tina shyly hints the hero, if he were not a stranger, if he were a member of the family, she would give him the letters. The hero realizes that this clumsy spinster loves him and would like to become his wife. He rushes out of the house and cannot get over it: it appears that he unwittingly inspired a poor woman of hope, which he cannot realize.
Does every extant scrap of intimate knowledge about historical figures belong to the public? This air of ineffectuality is partly owing to the way the character is built. Though he is at first awed by her company, he soon dismisses the old lady as a money-grubbing hag, and fails to understand how Jeffrey Aspern might have loved her once. When he returns to see Miss Tita, she bids him farewell and tells him that she has burned all the letters one by one.
He has learned that a woman who inspired some of Aspern's best poetry is still alive and likely possesses some love letters that he wrote to her. Juliana thanks the hero for the flowers, and he promises to go on sending them. By the time he arrives, Juliana has passed away. In the end, he briefly sees another side to Miss Tina, but the very next moment she returns to her usual drab self, and the moment only serves to underscore his blindness.
Juliana is not interested in having a lodger, until he mentions that he will pay a large sum to rent a few rooms.
No longer having any reason to stay, the narrator departs, to be haunted by regret at the loss of the letters. He is reaching for the desk in which he thinks the letters are when she enters and discovers him.
Be the first to contribute! When he gets back, the narrator learns that Juliana has died and been buried. However, Tita informs him that she has burned the letters. The hero asks her about his letters.
One day, after returning home in an odd hour, he meets Tina in the garden. Juliana and her niece Tita live alone in a huge house. He hires a gardener and hopes to conciliate of the housewives at home, sending them bouquets of flowers. Michael Gorra. And Juliana he does not see even once. Although Tita herself doesn't make many appearances, the narrator gradually cultivates a friendly relationship with her.
Julian proudly shows in front of impractical and helpless Tina her ability to make business. Do the dead have a right to privacy? The money she intends to Tina, who adores her and devotedly takes care of her.
Sorry, I keep harping on this! He hires a gardener and hopes to conciliate of the housewives at home, sending them bouquets of flowers. This is a strange, atmospheric story where nothing much happens outwardly — a lot of the time the narrator is simply biding his time, waiting for the ladies to react to his advances, and wondering how to proceed next — but on the inside, he is sinking lower in his own estimation and coming up with justifications for his lies and attempted thievery.
The narrator eventually discloses his intentions to Miss Tita, who promises to help him. Major themes[ edit ] James a very private man examines the conflicts involved when a biographer seeks to pry into the intimate life of his subject. Julian offers the hero to continue his staying in their house, but he has already spent so much money, that cannot afford paying so much for the rooms anymore. She agrees to this, and the narrator is delighted to be that much closer to his goal.
As if to tease him, Juliana shows a miniature portrait of Aspern she is going to sell. Hero solaces Tina and asks her about the plans for future. This section contains words approx.