Picks and Pans Review: Quote

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

>From Henry James and Edith Wharton: Letters, edited by Lyall H. Powers (Scribners, $29.95):

Lamb House, Rye 29 October 1909

Dearest Edith.

Your letters come into my damp desert here even as the odour of promiscuous spices or the flavour of lucent syrups tinct with cinnamon might be wafted to some compromised oasis from a caravan of the Arabian nights. Put instead of these the Parisian days, & you get the torment of my nostril. Vous m'en direz tant!—it is the Grande Vie, led by you with a Maenad motion, that you cause so to glitter before me; & which, mark you, I'm enchanted you should lead, for the sake of the paillettes I pick up....

Ever yr. H.J.

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