This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
Do the surfaces matter? In this provocative book, A Superficial Reading of Henry James: Preoccupations with the Material World, Thomas J. Otten demonstrates that surfaces matter profoundly. Taking seriously the accessories of Henry James’s fiction—the china and bric-a-brac, the antique cabinets and tapestries, the ribbons and hats—this book argues that James’s famous ambiguity is a material state, an indeterminate zone where the difference between essence and ornament disappears. Ranging between fictions as well-known as The Portrait of a Lady (whose heroine is celebrated for her psychological complexity) and ones as under-studied as "Rose-Agathe" (whose heroine is a hairdresser’s manikin), Otten suggests that the distinction between what counts as thematic depth and what counts as physical surface is, for James, impossible to maintain. Achieving a superficial reading of Henry James means demonstrating the persistence of the material within the novelist’s most conceptual formations of meaning—an argument with important consequences for literary theory, as Otten shows in his concluding chapters.
Eloquently written and guided by a perverse love for the superfluous detail, this book makes an important contribution to a fast-growing area of the humanities, one newly committed to the serious study of material culture, the concrete experiences of everyday life, and the history of the physical senses.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Thomas J. Otten teaches English at Boston University.Review:
"Otten writes with wonderful lucidity, fine-tuning his critical concepts in a way that gives them intellectual vitality." -- —Dorothy Hale, University of California, Berkeley
This book is an intellectually rigorous study that engages the range and depth of contemporary American Studies scholarship. -- —Gordon Hutner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description University of Chicago press. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0814210260
Book Description Ohio State University Press. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 2354619
Book Description Ohio State University Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0814210260
Book Description Ohio State University Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110814210260
Book Description Ohio State University Press, 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0814210260
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0814210260
Book Description OHio State university. Hardcover. Condition: New. 07/06. Seller Inventory # 84907
Book Description Ohio State Univ Pr, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 197 pages. 9.00x6.25x0.75 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __0814210260