The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James, and the Challenge of Modernity

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9780195066067: The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James, and the Challenge of Modernity

In this important revisionist study, Posnock integrates literary and psychological criticism with social and cultural theory to make a major advance in our understanding of the life and thought of two great American figures, Henry and William James. Challenging canonical images of both brothers, Posnock is the first to place them in a rich web of cultural and intellectual affiliations comprised of a host of American and European theorists of modernity. A startlingly new Henry James emerges from a cross-disciplinary dialogue, which features Veblen, Santayana, Bourne, and Dewey, as well as Weber, Simmel, Benjamin, and Adorno.

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About the Author:

Ross Posnock is at University of Washington.

Review:


"An altogether worthwhile, serious, and original approach to the Jameses."--Choice


"An erudite and engaging book....[A] remarkable achievement. Posnock...reminds us that our conceptual experience of modernity owes as much to Henry James as to his brother."--Journal of American History


"A brilliant study--a remarkable synthesis of cultural history, close reading, and theoretical speculation. It will make an important contribution to James studies, and an equally significant contribution to our understanding of American culture, to debates on modernity, and to discussions of the possibilities and problems of cultural criticism itself."--Jonathan Freedman, Yale University


"This is a major work of criticism, a...brilliant reconfiguration of literary culture and of literary modernism at the turn into the 20th century, and it offers some of the best interpretations I have ever read of Henry and William James, and of many attendant figures like Howard Sturgis, Santayana, and Adorno."--Richard Poirier, Rutgers University


"Posnock manages to provide an intellectual as well as an ideological context for the challenge of modernity. The result is a rich mosaic of quotations and commentary, inlaid with diverse elements from psychology, fiction, philosophy, literary history, autobiography, and cultural theory."--American Literature


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Posnock, Ross
Published by Oxford University Press (1991)
ISBN 10: 0195066065 ISBN 13: 9780195066067
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Ross Posnock
Published by Oxford University Press, USA (1991)
ISBN 10: 0195066065 ISBN 13: 9780195066067
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