Portraying the Lady: Technologies of Gender in the Short Stories of Henry James; Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure; Henry James and the Father Question

Portraying the Lady: Technologies of Gender in the Short Stories of Henry James; Henry James and... century, middle-class fiction. Izzo and Hadley see James working both within and outside the normative beliefs of his time, using fiction (in particular, the intricacies of his late style) to both question and reproduce the often restrictive codes that governed the cultural and narrative production of female subjects. In readings of several of the major novels and a few of the best-known stories, Hadley presents James as a writer who worked to overcome his ties to ‘‘a moralised English-language novel tradition’’ (3), insisting on the ‘‘ripe worldliness’’(3) of his late style and asking ‘‘whether it is possible to offer a reading of the work which yields a writer at once responsible toward the large ethical implications of his class, his privilege and his age, and at the same time deeply responsive to the possibilities of pleasure that age and leisure class afford’’ (3–4). A novelist and short-story writer in her own right, Hadley brings a certain lushness to her readings of James’s work, as when she memorably notes that his suffering female protagonists still manage to ‘‘carry life away with them in armfuls’’ (18). If there’s one demurral one might bring to an account of the pleasures of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literature Duke University Press

Portraying the Lady: Technologies of Gender in the Short Stories of Henry James; Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure; Henry James and the Father Question

American Literature, Volume 75 (4) – Dec 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0002-9831
eISSN
1527-2117
DOI
10.1215/00029831-75-4-871
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

century, middle-class fiction. Izzo and Hadley see James working both within and outside the normative beliefs of his time, using fiction (in particular, the intricacies of his late style) to both question and reproduce the often restrictive codes that governed the cultural and narrative production of female subjects. In readings of several of the major novels and a few of the best-known stories, Hadley presents James as a writer who worked to overcome his ties to ‘‘a moralised English-language novel tradition’’ (3), insisting on the ‘‘ripe worldliness’’(3) of his late style and asking ‘‘whether it is possible to offer a reading of the work which yields a writer at once responsible toward the large ethical implications of his class, his privilege and his age, and at the same time deeply responsive to the possibilities of pleasure that age and leisure class afford’’ (3–4). A novelist and short-story writer in her own right, Hadley brings a certain lushness to her readings of James’s work, as when she memorably notes that his suffering female protagonists still manage to ‘‘carry life away with them in armfuls’’ (18). If there’s one demurral one might bring to an account of the pleasures of

Journal

American LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2003

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