Deterritorialization in The Sacred Fount

Focusing on how "deterritorialization" (Deleuze and Guattari) is played out in The Sacred Fount, this essay argues that the oblique quality of James's novel arises from the problem of how knowledge should be organized, whether events can be categorized in terms of their own immanent dynamic or whether they become susceptible to redescription by a distant power. Since James's narrative embodies features of spatial dislocation and cognitive dissonance predicated upon an uncertain relationship between the local and the global, the text might be understood as a theoretical interrogation of the limits of observation as a method of resolving epistemological dilemmas.