The Upcoming Return Of Professor C., Or, “Washington Square” Meets “The Heiress”

Next week, Professor C.’s web seminar series returns. For those of you new to the blog, my father was for many years a professor of English at a well-known Far West university. From time to time he obligingly ups the intellectual atmosphere around here, in a series of essays comparing novels and novellas to their film derivatives. The works under consideration have ranged from Wharton’s Age of InnocenceHouse of Mirth, and Ethan Frome, to E. M. Forester’s Passage to India. Next week we will continue down the road of High WASP favorites, through that rarefied land burnt brown by irony and subjunctive wistfulness, to review the Henry James novella, Washington Square. The companion move is Olivia de Havilland’s 1948 The Heiress. The movie, by the way, won an Oscar.

So if you buy the book on Amazon, or for your Kindle, or retrieve it from dusty shelves, and buy the movie or watch it here, next Thursday we’ll reconvene for analysis and discussion. Even if you don’t do your homework, you’ll be welcome in the seminar room. I will say that I can only aspire to write as well as does Professor C.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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  • Oh dear, this is one I have *not* read. A trip to the library may be in the offing, I do not want to show up unprepared for class. Eek.

    May your weekend be wonderful,

  • Love the novella, love the movie, and even saw “The Heiress” with Cherry Jones playing the Olivia de Havilland role. When I think of (the movie in particular) I get a visceral sort of heart wrenching ache. Can’t wait for his post!

  • What fun! I’ll be looking forward to it! Peace, Stephanie

  • Ah. *Sigh* Henry James. I love Washington Square. Have you seen the eponymously-named Agnieska Holland 1997 film adaptation? I prefer it to 1949’s The Heiress, finding it closer to the original story. Jennifer Jason Leigh makes a wonderful Catherine, and Judith Ivey is an almost mesmerizingly perfect Mrs. Almond. Albert Finney as Dr. Sloper, and Maggie Smith as Aunt Lavinia Penniman are also excellent. I can never decide if Ben Chaplin is wonderfully good or bad in the role, but he is decidedly creepy.

  • Oh, I do love Professor C.

    And oddly enough, homework.

  • I’ve been having a couple of rotten days, and this perked me right up. I really enjoy your father’s posts!

    We’ll watch The Heiress this weekend, since I’m not sure I’ll have time to read the book. More’s the pity.

  • Yay! Professor C and one of favorite novelists!

  • I had better get reading! This one has been on my list for years…better late than never! Looking forward to this.

    xo Mary Jo

  • I’ve seen the Olivia de Havilland movie several times, being a classic movie junkie, but I’ve never read the novella. I think I’ll have to track down a copy.

  • This is my first experience with Professor Dad. I can’t wait (and suprisingly, I’ve never before read Washington Square.

  • Real interesting. Can’t wait to see what he will say and what I’ll have to learn.

  • Oh, Lisa, but you do! So now I see it’s in the genes!

  • More. Henry. James. Please –
    And thank you very much for all of your delightful insights, asides, redirections to what is sublime – keep writing, and will keep reading –

  • So excited to read this! Looks right up my alley. And a great Kindle bargain for only $0.99.

  • Looking forward to your father’s comments on Washington Square–James is one of my favorites. (My Gold Standard in English profs is Pat Spacks, so tell your father to sharpen his pencils or whatever.)

    By coincidence, this book is one of those I brought back to Taiwan this summer. ( )

  • I’ve just the ordered the book and the movie. I’ll be attending the seminar, I can’t wait!

  • You write really well – and now I know why! Looking forward to Professor C.