Monday August 23rd, 2010

Welcome to William James Week

james2On August 26, 1910, William James died at the age of 68. To mark the centenary of his death, this week on The Second Pass will be devoted to James.

I read The Varieties of Religious Experience for the first time about four years ago, and I quickly became a James fanatic. In short order, I read several other books by or about him, some of which will be mentioned on the site throughout the week. Also in store: an excerpt from one of James’ best-known works will go up on the Backlist momentarily; a review of a biography of James’ wife will be published in Circulating; the Shelf will fill up with books related to James; and there will be guest posts on the blog by several very smart people who, like me, hold James dear. I’ve found since discovering his work for myself that fellow fans share my affection for him, my sense that he is almost a real friend — a remarkable feeling to have for any author, much less one who has been gone for a century. If you’re unacquainted with James, I hope that this week on the site will give you a sense of why that affection exists, and will motivate you to learn more about him. If you are acquainted, I hope you get something new from this effort and find it an appropriate tribute.

As always, thanks for reading.