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Thread: Henry James major phase: what do you think?

  1. #1

    Smile Henry James major phase: what do you think?

    So I'm writing on James' relationship to tradition, focusing on The Ambassadors and Wings of the Dove. Basically, I'd be very interested to find out where you think James' late novels are in relation to modernism, impressionism, realism etc.

    Any feedback on these two novels or Henry James in general would be appreciated!

    My argument is that the late novels are not increasingly anti-mimetic but rather undermine the dichotomy of impressions/actuality. I'm using Lacan's work on the Real as a framework, so it would be fantastic if you have any thoughts on that too.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasnim View Post
    So I'm writing on James' relationship to tradition, focusing on The Ambassadors and Wings of the Dove. Basically, I'd be very interested to find out where you think James' late novels are in relation to modernism, impressionism, realism etc.

    Any feedback on these two novels or Henry James in general would be appreciated!

    My argument is that the late novels are not increasingly anti-mimetic but rather undermine the dichotomy of impressions/actuality. I'm using Lacan's work on the Real as a framework, so it would be fantastic if you have any thoughts on that too.

    Thanks in advance!!
    A very good question Tasnim. Of his late novels I've read The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl (which I'm afraid I didn't quite finish) and I would say that The Ambassadors definitely strives for mimesis while The Golden Bowl could be seen as anti-mimetic. I've never thought about it in that way before. Is late James modernism, impressionism, or realism? I would say all three.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. The later novels do seem to offer an increasingly subjective view of reality.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasnim View Post
    Thanks for the reply. The later novels do seem to offer an increasingly subjective view of reality.
    I definitely think that's true, but in some respects that's even more realistic than so called realism.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    I've recently read Washington Square, The Other House, The Golden Bowl, The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers, Daisy Miller, I'm half way though The Wings of the Dove and loving it.

    The Wings of the Dove, like The Golden Bowl, provides awesome insight into the mind of the characters: I eavesdrop as each thinks. Their thoughts are thoroughly convincing, each faced with life's uncertainties much as in Virginia Woolfe's To the lighthouse. Yet there is nothing contrived in their concerns and preoccupations.

    In Henry James, daily life - moment to moment - is subject to a universe of balanced forces often teetering on instability and threatening chaos.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

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