Abstract

This essay argues that by assuming a non-relation between consciousness and corporeality, critics have missed the extent to which James's rendering of Isabel Archer's consciousness in The Portrait of a Lady was not at all bodiless. Reading the novel's representations of Isabel Archer's body as a cognitive system that reflects, theorizes, and makes decisions in the context of nineteenth-century physiological psychologies, the essay contends that the novel explores the potential and limitation of the physiologically embodied mind. Portrait's novel representation of the corporeal dimension of consciousness no longer allows us to think of minds apart from the leaky, fallible, sickly, powerful, gendered, and vibrating bodies that constitute them.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 271-279
Launched on MUSE
2010-11-13
Open Access
No
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