“What, moreover, was the use of being an approved novelist if one couldn’t establish a relation between such figures; the clever, theory, for instance, that the young man was the son of the opulent matron, and that the humble dependent, the daughter of a clergyman or an officer, nourished a secret passion for him? Was that not visible from the way she stole behind her protectress to look back at him?- back to where he had let himself come to a full stop when his mother sat down to rest. HIs book was a novel; it had the catchpenny cover, and while the romance of life stood neglected at his side he lost himself in that of the circulating library”
Henry James, The Middle Years, The Library of America, New York City 1996, pp.336
I really enjoy this passage due to both Dencombe’s motivation of his observations, and the relatability of the act. I often find myself letting my mind wander into creating narratives for those around me, and seeing a character do this really endears me to them.