Aesthetic Experience and Visual Art in Henry James’s Novels
:AUS dd.qxd 7/16/2013 2:30 PM Page 1 Th e C on tin uum of C on sciousn ess Eim ers iv • 198 www.peter lang.com PETER LA N G The Continuum of Consciousness Aesthetic Experience and Visual Art in Henry James’s Novels J E N N I F E R E I M E R S A M E R I C A N U N I V E R S I T Y S T U D I E S A M E R I C A N U N I V E R S I T Y S T U D I E S The Continuum of Consciousness: Aesthetic Experience and Visual Art in Henry James’s Novels examines the transformative experience of art in James’s fiction. In a 1915 letter to H. G. Wells, James declares, “It is art that makes life.” This book traces the rich implications of this claim. For James, viewing art transformed the self. Many of his contemporaries, including his famous older brother, William, were deeply interested in the study of per- ception and individual consciousness. James’s fictional use of art reflects these philosophical discussions. Although much valuable scholarship has been devoted to visual art in James’s fiction, the guiding role it often plays in his characters’ experiences receives fuller exploration in this book. A pro- longed look at visual art and consciousness through the lens of nineteenth- century British aestheticism reveals intriguing connections and character responses. By highlighting and analyzing his representations of...
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