Abstract

This essay argues that, for James, the visible face and body conceal some genetic "reality" or heritage, which he figures in both The Sense of the Past and "The Jolly Corner" as the specter of unacknowledged racial difference. In both works, James fuses evolutionary biology and the ghostly, thematizing turn-of-the-century anxieties regarding miscegenation. By transforming a narrative of time travel into one of racial passing, James both literalizes the psychological phenomenon of a "hidden self" and exposes the central paradox of double-consciousness: the simultaneous recognition and rejection of one's "hidden" racial differences and sense of estrangement from the national family.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 276-284
Launched on MUSE
2004-11-15
Open Access
No
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