Initially published in Cosmopolis magazine in January and February 1896, Henry James’s “significant fable” (The Art of the Novel, 225) “The Figure in the Carpet” concerns the relationship between an author and his audience and issues of literary interpretation. Published in the same year in the collection Embarrassments, together with “The Next Time” amongst other works, “The Figure in the Carpet” is one of several stories about writers and artists written for the most part in James’s so-called “middle period” of the late 1880s and the 1890s.
Attending a party in the wake of the publication of a review of Hugh Vereker’s new novel, the unnamed narrator encounters the …
Pooler, Mhairi Catriona. "The Figure in the Carpet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 October 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=867, accessed 22 January 2017.]