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Henry James

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Henry James

Description:

Henry James was a fierce defender of the novelistic tradition and of formal complexity. A master of focalization, he showed in works like What Maisie Knew (1897) and The Golden Bowl (1904) the centrality of perspective to a novel&rsquo&#59;s construction. His works explored the encounter between Americans and Europeans, between the innocent and the worldly, between individual, fluid consciousness and the obtuseness of others and the outside world. In his preface to The Golden Bowl, James wrote that the writing and reading of fiction was an ethical project, that &ldquo&#59;the effort really to see and really to represent is no idle business in face of the constant force that makes for muddlement.&rdquo&#59; Moving from the Victorian melodrama of The American (1877) to the modernist impressionism of The Wings of the Dove (1902), James&rsquo&#59;s entire career was defined by the seriousness with which he took the art of the novel.