If you wrote like Henry James, your eyes, like his, would point in different directions too.
Hey, Ernie, let's go have a drink. A very nice drink. That would be very fine.
I read Seize the Day Tuesday. The Red Badge of Courage, too.
Wednesday I polished off A Farewell to Arms.
Thursday I picked up Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady. After I'd been reading awhile, I flipped to the back to see how many pages were in the book. 400 something. I kept reading. Got to page 100. Ah: a quarter through. But it sure didn't look as if a quarter of the book's pages had been turned.
Curious, I started riffling through the pages, and right about halfway through the book I saw the number "4" at the bottom of a page. To my horror, I then discovered the book is written in two volumes. Each 400-some pages.
400 pages of James I could have handled. He's a good storyteller, clever with the language—but too clever, for my taste. He comes across as more than a wee bit precious: "They strolled about the park together and sat under the trees, and in the afternoon when it was delightful to float along the Thames, Miss Stackpole occupied a place in the boat in which hitherto Ralph had had but a single companion. Her presence proved somehow less irreducible to soft particles than Ralph had expected in the natural perturbation of his sense of the perfect solubility of that of his cousin ..." Two pages later, James refers to Miss Stackpole's eyes as "occular surfaces." But, as I said, he's a good storyteller and his characters are interesting.
And none of that compares with this line of superb banality from A Farewell to Arms: "The town was very nice and our house was very fine." That's on the third page of the book. On the next page, the protagonist takes his first drink of the novel. It might be interesting someday to read Hemingway and, while reading it, drink what Papa is having before continuing to read. I don't think it would be possible to progress at more than six pages a day.