Abstract

Responding to recent work that seeks the ethical force of James's work in his melodramatic plots, this essay argues that the originality of James's ethical imagination resides in his stylistic extravagance. Specifically, the essay examines the much-remarked but little-analyzed fact that characters in late James all sound like one another (and like their creator), and argues that this stylisic universalism harbors a radically collectivist imagination. Against the moralizing and differentiating energies of his plots, the stylistic uniformity of the Jamesian universe powerfully conveys a vision of cooperative endeavor that Kurnick terms performative universalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 213-222
Launched on MUSE
2007-12-03
Open Access
No
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