Abstract

The past is not the only locus of memory for Henry James. Especially in his late fiction, James is less concerned with recovering lost experience in the manner of his great contemporary Marcel Proust than with transforming the present into material for recollection and reverie. For such moments he adopts a tense that I mischievously term the narrative past future infinitive of recollection. This tendency to transform the narrative present into anticipated recollection is most pronounced in The Ambassadors—a novel that thus proves itself far more ambivalent about the value of immediate experience than we have conventionally recognized.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 231-237
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-03
Open Access
No
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