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The Madonna of the Future

by Henry James


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American author Henry James often grappled with weighty topics in his work, and the story The Madonna of the Future—longer than a typical short story, but shorter than a novella—is no exception. Framed as an anecdote related among a group of men engaged in post-dinner chitchat, the story deals with an artist whose outsize ambitions and perfectionism have frozen him in a kind of creative paralysis. It's a profoundly thought-provoking tale that prompts important questions about the role of art in the world.

Publication Details

Duke Classics
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The Madonna of the Future
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