Enacting History in Henry James: Narrative, Power, and Ethics

Cambridge University Press (1997)
The Jamesian mode of writing, it has been claimed, actively works against an understanding of the way truth, history and power circulate in his texts. In this collection of essays, leading scholars of James analyse the strategies James used to address these crucial issues. Enacting History in Henry James claims that, because the type of knowledge available in James's fiction is never of a cognitive kind, the reader can never know 'truth' in any verifiable sense. James's writing instead promises an experiential type of knowledge, one that is attained by participating in the power games and moral dramas that unfold within the text. This collection argues that reading James ultimately requires not just an emotional responsiveness, but also an ethical assumption of responsibility for the act of reading. By placing James's work in a fresh theoretical context, this book throws new light on this most enigmatic of writers.
Keywords Literature and history History  Narration (Rhetoric History  Narration (Rhetoric History  Power (Social sciences) in literature  Reader-response criticism  Ethics in literature  Fiction Technique
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Call number PS2127.H5.B84 1997
ISBN(s) 0521121450   9780521121453
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