Jonathan FLATLEY Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS214.F63 2008 | Dewey Decimal 810.9353
The surprising claim of this book is that dwelling on loss is not necessarily depressing. Instead, embracing melancholy can be a road back to contact with others and can lead people to productively remap their relationship to the world around them. Flatley demonstrates that a seemingly disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers showed how aesthetic activity can give us the means to comprehend and change our relation to loss.
This collection of prefaces, originally written for the 1909 multi-volume New York Edition of Henry James’s fiction, first appeared in book form in 1934 with an introduction by poet and critic R. P. Blackmur. In his prefaces, James tackles the great problems of fiction writing—character, plot, point of view, inspiration—and explains how he came to write novels such as The Portrait of a Lady and The American. As Blackmur puts it, “criticism has never been more ambitious, nor more useful.”
The latest edition of this influential work includes a foreword by bestselling author Colm Tóibín, whose critically acclaimed novel The Master is told from the point of view of Henry James. As a guide not only to James’s inspiration and execution, but also to his frustrations and triumphs, this volume will be valuable both to students of James’s fiction and to aspiring writers.
In a major contribution to the study of race in American literature, Kenneth W. Warren argues that late-nineteenth-century literary realism was shaped by and in turn helped to shape post-Civil War racial politics. Taking up a variety of novelists, including Henry James and William Dean Howells, he shows that even works not directly concerned with race were instrumental in the return after reconstruction to a racially segregated society.
In 1907, in a quiet English village, Theodora Bosanquet answered Henry James’s call for someone to transcribe his edits and additions to his formidable body of work. The aging James had agreed to revise his novels and tales into the twenty-four-volume New York Edition. Enter Bosanquet, a budding writer who would record the dictated revisions and the prefaces that would become a lynchpin of his legacy.
Embracing the role of amanuensis and creative counterpoint cautiously at first, Bosanquet kept a daily diary over the nine years that she worked with James, as their extraordinary partnership evolved. Bosanquet became the first audience for James’s compositions and his closest literary associate—and their relationship ultimately resulted in James’s famed “deathbed dictations.” At the same time, the homosexuality of each was an unspoken but important influence on their mutual support and companionship.
Susan Herron Sibbet’s posthumous novel gifts us with the voice of a young woman writer drawn into the intimate circle of an aging master, and is a moving addition to previous literary treatments of James and Bosanquet, even as it hews closer to fact than other works do. The Constant Listener is itself the work of an accomplished poet, and will speak to fans of James, historical fiction, and themes of art, love, sexuality, and identity.
A strange and delightful memento of one of the most lasting literary voices of all time, The Daily Henry James is a little book from a great mind. First published with James’s approval in 1911 as the ultimate token of fandom—a limited edition quote-of-the-day collection titled The Henry James Year Book—this new edition is a gift across time, arriving as we mark the centenary of his death. Drawing on the Master’s novels, essays, reviews, plays, criticism, and travelogues, The Daily Henry James offers a series of impressions (for if not of impressions, of what was James fond?) to carry us through the year.
From the deepest longings of Isabel Archer to James’s insights in The Art of Fiction, longer seasonal quotes introduce each month, while concise bits of wisdom and whimsy mark each day. To take but one example: Isabel, in a quote from The Portrait of a Lady for September 30, muses, “She gave an envious thought to the happier lot of men, who are always free to plunge into the healing waters of action.” Featuring a new foreword by James biographer Michael Gorra as well as the original introductions by James and his good friend William Dean Howells, this long-forgotten perennial calendar will be an essential bibelot for James’s most ardent devotees and newest converts alike, a treasure to be cherished daily, across all seasons, for years, for ages to come.
The first book devoted to the literary relationship between Henry James and his American predecessor, Nathaniel Hwthorne. Robert Emmet Long demonstrates James’ transformation of Hawthorne’s romantic forms into realism, as one of the significant features of James’ early career. Long shows that Hawthorne provided James ith a native tradition having its own conceptions of American psychological experience.
The author considers James’s work from The Bostonians to The Awkward Age – from 1883 to 1889 – a period in which James was resident in London and searching for material to replace the “international theme.” Jacobson considers this context in relation to the emergence of a mass market and sees James’s major fiction of this period as an attempt to exploit the conventions of popular fiction in an analysis of his society’s assumptions. James’s work at this time must also be viewed as an artist’s effort to secure popular attention and acceptance.
Such an approach allows Jacobson to treat James’s “French period” and his “experimental period” as a unit and to counter the myth that James was an ivory tower artist.
Kevin Ohi begins this energetic book with the proposition that to read Henry James—particularly the late texts—is to confront the queer potential of style and the traces it leaves on the literary life. In contrast to other recent critics, Ohi asserts that James’s queerness is to be found neither in the homoerotic thematics of the texts, however startlingly explicit, nor in the suggestions of same-sex desire in the author’s biography, however undeniable, but in his style.
For Ohi, there are many elements in the style that make James’s writing queer. But if there is a thematic marker, Ohi shows through his careful engagements with these texts, it is belatedness. The recurrent concern with belatedness, Ohi explains, should be understood not psychologically but stylistically, not as confessing the sad predicament of being out of sync with one’s life but as revealing the consequences of style’s refashioning of experience. Belatedness marks life’s encounter with style, and it describes an experience not of deprivation but of the rich potentiality of the literary work that James calls “freedom.” In Ohi’s reading, belatedness is the indicator not of sublimation or repression, nor of authorial self-sacrifice, but of the potentiality of the literary—and hence of the queerness of style.
Presenting original readings of a series of late Jamesian texts, the book also represents an exciting possibility for queer theory and literary studies in the future: a renewed attention to literary form and a new sounding—energized by literary questions of style and form—of the theoretical implications of queerness.
Henry James at Work
Theodora Bosanquet University of Michigan Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS2123.B6 2006 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
A new edition of the delightful 1924 memoir by James’s longtime secretary, with a biographical essay and excerpts from her diaries
Theodora Bosanquet was Henry James's secretary from 1907 until his death in 1916, one of the most significant periods of his long writing career. Her memoir Henry James at Work, originally published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1924, recounts Bosanquet's association with James and provides a lively and engaging commentary on James's milieu, preferences, and attitudes, as well as on his process of writing and revision. Bosanquet is an intelligent and observant witness and reporter, and her objective and comparatively unbiased point of view makes the memoir especially valuable.
This enlarged and annotated edition rescues Bosanquet from the shadows of literary history and shows her to be a fascinating figure in her own right, a skilled writer and editor, an early feminist, and a contemporary of the Bloomsbury literary community. The book is enhanced by an essay about Bosanquet and her circle, and fascinating snippets from her diaries and letters, now in the Harvard University archives.
Soon after Henry James hired Theodora Bosanquet in 1907, the well-educated and dedicated Bosanquet became indispensable to James. In addition to the memoir Henry James at Work she published two other books, critical studies on Harriet Martineau and Paul Valéry. Following James’s death she became Executive Secretary of the International Federation of University Women and traveled extensively in support of the women’s suffrage movement. From 1935 to 1958 she was literary editor, then director, of the publication Time and Tide.
Lyall H. Powers is Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Michigan and author of numerous books, including Alien Heart: The Life and Work of Margaret Laurence.
Praise for Henry James at Work:
“She’s savvy, she’s snappy, and there’s usually a touch of sass . . . . [T]his ‘salty, hearty’ lady . . . worked so hard to keep ‘a lonely old artist man’—Henry James—from being interrupted.”
“I’m sure [your book] ought to have a success with anyone who cared for Henry James and his work, and I think we are very lucky to get it.”
—Letter from Virginia Woolf to Theodora Bosanquet, 1924
“It's fascinating to encounter, in the era just before high modernism, a female intellectual like Bosanquet—one as fully engaged in the life of ideas and cultural production as her male counterparts—making as much of her putatively secondary status as she possibly could. The book is important as a primary document in its own right as well as a gloss on the methods and material of the magisterial James.”
—Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan
In this imaginative and provocative book, Purdy draws upon the work of a such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Günter Grass, Samuel Becket, and Eugene Ionesco to suggest ways in which novelists explore the unknown. His ingenious consideration of Henry James in conjunction with these novelists, as well as with science fiction and detective fiction writers and with mid-century scientific discoveries and advances—black holes, hydrogen bombs, space travel—offers rich, new insights into James’s work and into the twentieth-century view of humanity’s place in the world.
In this study of American cultural production from the colonial era to the present, Russell Reising takes up the loose ends of popular American narratives to craft a new theory of narrative closure. In the range of works examined here—from Phillis Wheatley’s poetry to Herman Melville’s Israel Potter , from Henry James’s "The Jolly Corner" to the Disney Studio’s Dumbo—Reising finds endings that violate all existing theories of closure and narratives that expose the the often unarticulated issues that inspired these texts. Reising suggests that these "non-endings" entirely refocus the narrative structures they appear to conclude, accentuate the narrative stresses and ideological fissures that the texts seem to suppress, and reveal "shadow narratives" that trail alongside the dominant story line. He argues that unless the reader notices the ruptures in the closing moments of these works, the social and historical moments in which the narrative and the reader are embedded will be missed. This reading not only offers new interpretive possibilities, but also uncovers startling affinities between the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and the fiction of Henry James, between Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland and Melville’s least-studied novel, and between Emily Dickinson’s poem "I Started Early—Took My Dog" and Disney’s animated classic. Pursuing the implications of these failed moments of closure, Reising elaborates on topics ranging from the roots of domestic violence and mass murder in early American religious texts to the pornographic imperative of mid-century nature writing, and from James’s "descent" into naturalist and feminist fiction to Dumbo’s explosive projection of commercial, racial, and political agendas for postwar U. S. culture.
Henry James (1843–1916) and William Dean Howells (1837–1920) are best known for the central roles they played as nineteenth-century American novelists, penning such classics as James’s Portrait of a Lady and Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham. Their importance as literary critics, however, has been underplayed for decades. Although certain aspects of James’s and Howells’s criticism have been carefully considered—James’s “Prefaces” and Howells’s Criticism and Fiction, for example—no scholar has previously undertaken a comprehensive comparative study of their respective critical oeuvres. In The Master and the Dean, Rob Davidson presents the first book-length study of James’s literary criticism to be published since the early 1980s and the first-ever book-length study of Howells’s criticism. Considering Howells’s commonly accepted position among scholars as the most influential American literary critic of the period, such a study is long overdue.
Beginning with a detailed examination of the European and domestic sources that led James and Howells toward realism, Davidson examines the interrelationships between the two writers, with special emphasis on their diverging aesthetic concerns and attitudes toward the market and audience, their beliefs concerning the moral value of fiction and the United States as a literary subject, and their various writings about each other. A rigorous, intertextual reading of their work as critics reveals both deeper rifts and more intimate similarities between the two writers than have been recognized previously. Of special note is Davidson’s careful attention to the frequently overlooked final two decades of Howells’s career.
This close look at the lesser-known critical work of James and Howells will appeal both to scholars of the period and to anyone seeking an exceptional introduction to a crucially important era of American literary criticism.
On the night of December 1,1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband's death unsolved.
The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today, Margaret's composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack--known to be a cruel and dangerous man--was hailed as a respectable husband and father. Midnight Assassin also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily, who used these events as the basis for her classic short story, " A Jury of Her Peers", and the famous play Trifles.
Based on almost a decade of research, Midnight Assassin is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest.
The Notebooks of Henry James
Edited by F. O. Matthiessen and Kenneth B. Murdock University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress PS2123.A35 1981 | Dewey Decimal 818.403
"For other novelists the value of Henry James's Notebooks is immense and to brood over them a major experience. The glow of the great impresario is on the pages. They are occasionally readable and endlessly stimulating, often moving and are ocasionally relieved by a drop of gossip."—V. S. Pritchett, New Statesman
"The Notebooks take us into his study, and here we can observe him, at last, in the very act of creation at his writing table."—Leon Edel, Atlantic Monthly
"A document of prime importance."—Edmund Wilson, New Yorker
From 1929 to the latest issue, American Literature has been the foremost journal expressing the findings of those who study our national literature. American Literature has published the best work of literary historians, critics, and bibliographers, ranging from the founders of discipline to the best current critics and researchers. The longevity of this excellence lends a special distinction to the articles in American Literature.
Presented in order of their first appearance, the articles in each volume constitute a revealing record of developing insights and important shifts of critical emphasis. Each article has opened a fresh line of inquiry, established a fresh perspective on a familiar topic, or settled a question that engaged the interest of experts.
The Other Henry James
John Carlos Rowe Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS2127.P6R69 1998 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
In The Other Henry James, John Carlos Rowe offers a new vision of Henry James as a social critic whose later works can now be read as rich with homoerotic suggestiveness. Drawing from recent work in queer and feminist theory, Rowe argues that the most fruitful approach to James today is one that ignores the elitist portrait of the formalist master in favor of the writer as a vulnerable critic of his own confused and repressive historical moment. Rowe traces a particular development in James’s work, showing how in his early writings James criticized women’s rights, same-sex relations, and other social and political trends now identified with modern culture; how he ambivalently explored these aspects of modernity in his writings of the 1880s; and, later, how he increasingly identified with such modernity in his heretofore largely ignored or marginally treated fiction of the 1890s. Building on recent scholarship that has shown James to be more anxious about gender roles, more conflicted, and more marginal a figure than previously thought, Rowe argues that James—through his treatment of women, children, and gays—indicts the values and conventions of the bourgeoisie. He shows how James confronts social changes in gender roles, sexual preferences, national affiliations, and racial and ethnic identifications in such important novels as The American, The Tragic Muse, What Maisie Knew, and In the Cage, and in such neglected short fiction as “The Last of the Valerii,” “The Death of the Lion,” and “The Middle Years.” Positioning James’s work within an interpretive context that pits the social and political anxieties of his day against the imperatives of an aesthetic ideology, The Other Henry James will engage scholars, students, and teachers of American literature and culture, gay literature, and queer theory.
Why has the realist novel been persistently understood as promoting liberalism? Can this tendency be reconciled with an equally familiar tendency to see the novel as a national form? In A Probable State, Irene Tucker builds a revisionary argument about liberalism and the realist novel by shifting the focus from the rise of both in the eighteenth century to their breakdown at the end of the nineteenth. Through a series of intricate and absorbing readings, Tucker relates the decline of realism and the eroding logic of liberalism to the question of Jewish characters and writers and to shifting ideas of community and nation.
Whereas previous critics have explored the relationship between liberalism and the novel by studying the novel's liberal characters, Tucker argues that the liberal subject is represented not merely within the novel, but in the experience of the novel's form as well. With special attention to George Eliot, Henry James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and S. Y. Abramovitch, Tucker shows how we can understand liberalism and the novel as modes of recognizing and negotiating with history.
In Producing American Races Patricia McKee examines three authors who have powerfully influenced the formation of racial identities in the United States: Henry James, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison. Using their work to argue that race becomes visible only through image production and exchange, McKee illuminates the significance that representational practice has had in the process of racial construction. McKee provides close readings of six novels—James’s The Wings of the Dove and The Golden Bowl, Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Light in August, and Morrison’s Sula and Jazz—interspersed with excursions into Lacanian and Freudian theory, critical race theory, epistemology, and theories of visuality. In James and Faulkner, she finds, race is represented visually through media that highlight ways of seeing and being seen. Written in the early twentieth century, the novels of James and Faulkner reveal how whiteness depended on visual culture even before film and television became its predominant media. In Morrison, the culture is aural and oral—and often about the absence of the visual. Because Morrison’s African American communities produce identity in nonvisual, even anti-visual terms, McKee argues, they refute not just white representations of black persons as objects but also visual orders of representation that have constructed whites as subjects and blacks as objects. With a theoretical approach that both complements and transcends current scholarship about race—and especially whiteness—Producing American Races will engage scholars in American literature, critical race theory, African American studies, and cultural studies. It will also be of value to those interested in the novel as a political and aesthetic form.
“George W. Nichols’s aptly titled Soldier’s Story is one of the classic narratives of frontline infantry service in the Army of Northern Virginia. Nichols’s 61st Georgia fought in the renowned brigade commanded in turn by General Alexander r. Lawton, General John B. Gordon, and General Clement A. Evans. Nichols framed his account without sentimental hindsight; in addition to reporting great battles and dramatic moments, he told the story of two cousins killing each other in a quarrel about cooking duties and described maggot-infested corpses around Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle. An annotated roster of the 61st supplies details about Nichols’s fellow veterans, some of which are not available anywhere else. Years of exhaustive research have made Professor K. S. Bohannon of the University of West Georgia the nonpareil leading authority on Georgia’s Civil War troops. Bohannon’s introduction adduces strong new evidence about George Nichols and his book. A thorough index also makes the work more accessible than earlier editions.”—Robert K. Krick, author of The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia
Rowe examines James from the perspectives of the psychology of literary influence, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, literary phenomenology and impressionism, and reader-response criticism, transforming a literary monument into the telling point of intersection for modern critical theories.
Thinking in Henry James
Sharon Cameron University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress PS2127.T53C3 1989 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
Thinking in Henry James identifies what is genuinely strange and radical about James's concept of consciousness—first, the idea that it may not always be situated within this or that person but rather exists outside or "between," in some transpersonal place; and second, the idea that consciousness may have power over things and people outside the person who thinks. Examining these and other counterintuitive representations of consciousness, Cameron asks, "How do we make sense of these conceptions of thinking?"
When did Americans first believe they were at the center of a truly global culture? How did they envision that culture and how much do recent attitudes toward globalization owe to their often utopian dreams? In Utopia and Cosmopolis Thomas Peyser asks these and other questions, offers a reevaluation of American literature and culture at the dawn of the twentieth century, and provides a new context for understanding contemporary debates about America’s relation to the rest of the world. Applying current theoretical work on globalization to the writing of authors as diverse as Edward Bellamy, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Dean Howells, and Henry James, Peyser reveals the ways in which turn-of-the-century American writers struggled to understand the future in a newly emerging global community. Because the pressures of globalization at once fostered the formation of an American national culture and made national culture less viable as a source of identity, authors grappled to find a form of fiction that could accommodate the contradictions of their condition. Utopia and Cosmopolis unites utopian and realist narratives in subtle, startling ways through an examination of these writers’ aspirations and anxieties. Whether exploring the first vision of a world brought together by the power of consumer culture, or showing how different cultures could be managed when reconceived as specimens in a museum, this book steadily extends the horizons within which late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture can be understood. Ranging widely over history, politics, philosophy, and literature, Utopia and Cosmopolis is an important contribution to debates about utopian thought, globalization, and American literature.
Readers generally know only one of the two famous James brothers. Literary types know Henry James; psychologists, philosophers, and religion scholars know William James. In reality, the brothers’ minds were inseparable, as the more than eight hundred letters they wrote to each other reveal. In this book, J. C. Hallman mines the letters for mutual affection and influence, painting a moving portrait of a relationship between two extraordinary men. Deeply intimate, sometimes antagonistic, rife with wit, and on the cutting edge of art and science, the letters portray the brothers’ relationship and measure the manner in which their dialogue helped shape, through the influence of their literary and intellectual output, the philosophy, science, and literature of the century that followed.
William and Henry James served as each other’s muse and critic. For instance, the event of the death of Mrs. Sands illustrates what H’ry never stated: even if the “matter” of his fiction was light, the minds behind it lived and died as though it was very heavy indeed. He seemed to best understand this himself only after Wm fully fleshed out his system. “I can’t now explain save by the very fact of the spell itself . . . that [Pragmatism] cast upon me,” H’ry wrote in 1907. “All my life I have . . . unconsciously pragmatised.”
Wm was never able to be quite so gracious in return. In 1868, he lashed out at the “every day” elements of two of H’ry’s early stories, and then explained: “I have uttered this long rigmarole in a dogmatic manner, as one speaks, to himself, but of course you will use it merely as a mass to react against in your own way, so that it may serve you some good purpose.” He believed he was doing H’ry a service as he criticized a growing tendency toward “over-refinement” or “curliness” of style. “I think it ought to be of use to you,” he wrote in 1872, “to have any detailed criticism fm even a wrong judge, and you don’t get much fm. any one else.” For the most part, H’ry agreed. “I hope you will continue to give me, when you can, your free impression of my performance. It is a great thing to have some one write to one of one’s things as if one were a 3d person & you are the only individual who will do this.”