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Henry James Goes to War

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Edited By Miroslawa Buchholtz, Dorota Guttfeld and Grzegorz Koneczniak

Within the past decades, Henry James has been seen going to the movies and to Paris, both far more likely destinations for him than battlefields of the modern world. Sending him off to war seems to be a preposterous idea, but the exaggeration inscribed in the title of the present volume is meant to stress the historicity of wars and battles underlying James’s life and work, quite apart from conflict on which literature thrives at all times. The book consists of five parts devoted to various forms and aspects of conflict. It deals with both literal and metaphorical battles of which the author was aware or in which he was involved. Apart from addressing James’s attitude to two major conflicts, the Civil War and World War One, the articles range from critical discussions of James’s biography, criticism, and fiction, to studies of the intertextual connections between his œuvre and works of both past and present authors.
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Henry James and Julian Hawthorne, or, on the Importance of Name

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Beata Williamson, University of Gdańsk, Institute of English and American Studies

Three of Julian Hawthorne’s works were the subject of Henry James’s book reviews: Idolatry – in 1874, Saxon Studies – in 1876, and Garth – in 1877. The most basic impression given to James’s reader is that in the first piece the author attempts to be respectful towards Nathaniel Hawthorne’s son, tries to forgive him for his youthful errors in writing, and hopes for its speedy improvement. Two years later, judging Saxon Studies, James obviously lost his hopes – the review is strongly negative; “the master” sees Julian Hawthorne as the one who was given a chance and did not take it. In the final piece, James appears more amused than vexed: all hopes for great literature lost, at least the reviewer can resort to being light-hearted. All in all, James appears reluctant to harshly criticize the younger Hawthorne’s writing; apparently for the sake of the father, the son is treated in a way much more forgiving than many other subjects of James’s book reviews.

James stresses that following the father is a difficult path: “to be the son of a man of genius is at the best to be born to a heritage of invidious comparisons [...]; indeed, the kinder the general sentiment has been toward the parent, the more disposed it seems to deal out rigid justice to the son.” In his first review, James underlines that “Mr. Julian Hawthorne [is] a writer whose involuntary...

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