Abstract

Abstract:

Beginning with an extended account of tragedy's contested standing and value amongst nineteenth-century critics and novelists, this article argues that Henry James's fiction can be read partly as developing a new form of novelistic tragedy in response to these debates. James's interest in how suffering enables access to richer states of consciousness, through what he called 'the power to be finely aware', is shown to be at its most complex in The Portrait of a Lady, where James's reimagining of tragedy draws upon his own travel writings in Italy, the wider cultural meanings of Italian Catholicism, and Walter Pater's writings on historical consciousness and the tragic in Renaissance Italy.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1471-6836
Print ISSN
0008-199X
Pages
pp. 207-228
Launched on MUSE
2017-09-27
Open Access
No
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