Portraying the Lady

Portraying the Lady
Author : Donatella Izzo
Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
Total Pages : 312
Release : 2001
ISBN 10 : UOM:39015053778307
ISBN 13 :
Language : EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Portraying the Lady Book Description:

From Daisy Miller to Isabel Archer to Maisie, female characters dominate the work of Henry James and, often, critical discussion of James's work. Donatella Izzo shifts that discussion to a different, more revealing, plane in this original interpretation of James's short fiction. By redirecting criticism from a biographical emphasis to a focus on James's engagement with the issues of representation, Izzo shows how these short stories actually question and investigate the cultural and ideological practices that produced women, both in literature and in society. Portraying the Lady brings to light the experimental quality and inherent consistency of stories that have received little critical attention, all of which revolve around ideas at the core of the cultural representation of femininity at the time. Izzo shows how James, by testing and stretching these ideas in his imagery and plots, exposed and exploded the perverse logic and the ultimate implications of such culturally shared versions of femininity, thus revealing their oppressive quality for women and laying bare literature's complicity in reproducing and circulating them. Exposing James's texts as sensitive registers of women's roles during the Victorian-Edwardian era, this book demonstrates that his texts make readers aware of how those stereotypes operated. Blending literary, art, and feminist criticism with narratological analysis and postmodern theory, this groundbreaking work restores a formal awareness to James studies within the wider theoretical concerns of feminist, gender, and cultural critiques.


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