The Middle Years

What his eyes met this time, as it happened, was on the part
of the young lady a queer stare, naturally vitreous, which made
her aspect remind him of some figure (he couldn’t name it)
in a play or a novel, some sinister governess or tragic old maid.
She seemed to scrutinise him, to challenge him, to say, from
general spite: “What have you got to do with us?”

I chose this section because James first introduces Dencombe as a narrator by proxy through an implicit means. The reader understands reading this, even if vaguely, that Dencombe is transfixing his ideas as a novelist onto the countess. This is more concretely suggested by the excerpt’s connecting her appearance to that of an ambiguous character in ‘a play or a novel.’