century, middle-class ï¬ction. Izzo and Hadley see James working both within and outside the normative beliefs of his time, using ï¬ction (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 ââa moralised English-language novel traditionââ (3), insisting on the ââripe worldlinessââ(3) of his late style and asking ââwhether it is possible to oï¬er 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 aï¬ordââ (3â4). A novelist and short-story writer in her own right, Hadley brings a certain lushness to her readings of Jamesâs work, as when she memorably notes that his suï¬ering female protagonists still manage to ââcarry life away with them in armfulsââ (18). If thereâs one demurral one might bring to an account of the pleasures of
American Literature – Duke University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2003
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