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BOOK REVIEWS "metaphoric" rendering of their relationship, it conveys her "insight" that she always had "been passionately drawn to him" but had understood that "surrendering to him or joining him would be fatal to her independence as a woman and as a poet." The melodramatic dust jacket of Korg's book features the young, innocent -looking Pound and H.D. facing each other in profile. More suited to a romance novel, it signals that Korg's Winter Love apparently is intended to appeal to a wider readership than the standard, specialized scholarly volume. Although Korg cites a number of previously unpublished documents, and though his is the first parallel study of the personal lives and literary production of the two poets, the H.D. or Pound scholar will recognize that much of what is gathered here may be found in extant biographies, critical works, or collections of letters. When Korg focuses on a text at several key junctures in his argument, for instance, he relies heavily on the readings of other commentators, such as Friedman , Cassandra Laity, and Eileen Gregory. Furthermore, while the book reinforces the case that Pound and H.D. directly influenced each other at different times and to varying degrees, more often than not Korg's aim is to call attention to independently developed yet congruent aspects of their work. The nature of the reader's response to Winter Love, thus, likely will at least in part depend on how much he or she values such comparative studies in general and on whether he or she can rest satisfied with a method that, reduced to its basics, is designed to demonstrate that the literary careers of these two major modernists were, to employ the popular idiom, for the most part "the same but different." E. P. WALKIEWICZ __________________ Oklahoma State University James & Gender Fiction Cécile Mazzucco-Than. "A Form Foredoomed to Looseness": Henry James's Preoccupation with the Gender of Fiction. New York: Peter Lang, 2002. xvi + 241 pp. $57.95 "A WEARY SENSE of déjà vu might frame the initial response of a reader encountering yet another study of James within a gender and queer theory paradigm," Peter Rawlings commented in his recent review of Eric Haralson's Henry James and Queer Modernity (2003). Indeed , one's initial reaction to Cécile Mazzucco-Than's volume on Henry James is to ask if another book could contribute anything substantially new to what has already been said in dozens of monographs on Henry 489 ELT 48 : 4 2005 James published in English in recent years. One web resource lists thirty-four book-length studies on James published in English between 2000 and 2003, and the list is certainly not exhaustive. Those recent titles that focus on questions of gender construction in James's work include —in addition to Eric Haralson's book—studies such as Hugh Stevens's Henry James and Sexuality (1998), Wendy Graham's Henry James's Thwarted Love (1999), Peggy McCormack's Questioning the Master: Gender and Sexuality in Henry James's Writing (2001) and Leland S. Person's Henry James and the Suspense of Masculinity (2003). The overwhelming need to offer a new angle, a unique selling point, is the lot of the Jamesian scholar, however incisive his or her readings of James's work may be, for the field of Jamesian scholarship is a very crowded marketplace indeed. Mazzucco-Than's detailed study examines shifting attitudes towards issues of gender in fiction as expressed in James's critical prose: in the prefaces through which he revisited his earlier fiction, and in his reviews of writers such as Balzac or George Sand. Neither the ambivalence she uncovers, nor the complexity and anxiety with which James wrote about "masculine" and "feminine" prose are particularly new or surprising. The metaphors of architecture and weaving, and of economy and abundance ("fatal fluidity" and "looseness") which he used in his critical writing, have tended to privilege the "masculine" side of the binary opposition, but in practice James could never be one or the Other, but was always multiple. Mazzucco-Than's exploration is perceptive and subtle, although it would have benefited from a wider use...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 489-492
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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