Henry James | I have left her en l'air

The obvious criticism of course will be that it is not finished — that I have not seen the heroine to the end of her situation — that I have left her en l'air. — This is both true and false. The whole of anything is never told; you can only take what groups together. What I have done has that unity — it groups together. It is complete in itself — and the rest may be taken up or not, later.

The Notebooks Of Henry James - The Portrait of a Lady


Really, universally, relations stop nowhere, and the exquisite problem of the artist is eternally but to draw, by a geometry of his own, the circle within which they shall happily appear to do so. He is in the perpetual predicament that the continuity of things is the whole matter, for him, of comedy and tragedy; that this continuity is never, by the space of an instant or an inch, broken, and that, to do anything at all, he has at once intensely to consult and intensely to ignore it.

Henry James, Roderick Hudson, PREFACE