Sample Commonplace-Book Entry

He should never again, as at one or two great moments of the past, be better than himself.

James, “The Middle Years,” 335.

Changing meanings of “better”: better health? better artistic success? better in some other sense. How can Dencombe be better than himself anyway? Is this D’s own belief or the narrator telling us the future?

Author: AG

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick