Abstract

Olson evaluates James's complex conception of race in The Golden Bowl, specifically focusing on Fanny Assingham, a pivotal character at the fulcrum of the novel's action. Olson shows how Fanny is allied with the Jewish characters in the novel both physically and functionally, arguing that Fanny's Jewishness is signaled by her behavior, not by fixed or innate qualities. Moreover, Fanny contests and diminishes authorial control, even as she amplifies our sense of the author's presence. This dual function is constitutive, in the novel's terms, of her Jewishness, suggesting a bracing self-identification on James's part with this same figure.

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