Abstract

James’s novels have always elicited ethical thought, but the inadequacy of traditional ethics is revealed by the split among readers of The Golden Bowl in their judgments of Maggie’s character. R. P. Blackmur was right to call the true plot the “ineluctable,” which I take to mean the ethical, but on a register that cannot be reduced to a thematic reading, which would deal with what Emmanuel Levinas calls the shadow of reality and Blackmur the mechanical plot. An Aristotlean thematics and ethics serve as our mechanical plot, but the ineluctable demands a Levinasian reading if we are to be responsible to the true plot and James’s vision.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-22
Open Access
No
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