The Prefaces of Henry James (Hardback)
  • The Prefaces of Henry James (Hardback)
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The Prefaces of Henry James (Hardback)

(author)
£31.95
Hardback 180 Pages / Published: 23/05/1997
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The first decade of the twentieth century saw Henry James at work selecting and revising his novels and tales for a collection of his work known as the New York Edition. James not only made extensive revisions of his early works; he added eighteen prefaces that provide what many readers believe to be the best commentary on his fiction. John Pearson argues here for a reading of the prefaces within the context of the New York Edition as James's attempt to construct an ideal reader, one attentive to his art and authorial performance. He argues that James sought to create the modern reader, one who would learn to appreciate and discriminate his literary art through reading the prefaces. Through close readings of several of the novels and tales, including The Awkward Age, What Maisie Knew, The Portrait of a Lady, The Aspern Papers, and The Wings of the Dove, Pearson's comprehensive study examines the various framing strategies at work and considers the broader theoretical implications of reading through the prefaces.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271016597
Number of pages: 180
Weight: 426 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"John Pearson has written an insightful and well-documented analysis which every James scholar will have to read but which may also be of great interest to scholars interested in the history of fictional theory and the role Jamesian aesthetics played in the development of that theory."

--English Studies


"Pearson's work is a significant contribution to James studies and to the larger project of mapping the history of early modern literature. . . . He is right on target when he argues for a reading of the prefaces within the context of the edition as authorial performance--which is to say, within the context of the 'semiotic field' in which they originally appeared."

--David McWhirter, Texas A & M University-College Station

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