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Henry James Goes to War


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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Jamesian Battles between Desire and Moral Integrity – Capital Dilemmas


Agnes Pokol-Hayhurst, independent scholar


The protagonists of Jamesian conflicts do not tend to overstep the boundaries of civilized behavior – the most violent scenes remain more or less polite conversations heavy with suppressed anger, desire, frustration and so on. When talking about Jamesian conflicts and battles, then, the emphasis should fall on battles between antagonists under the surface and internal ones within characters that often end in renunciation – of love, happiness, or gain, in order to retain one’s moral integrity.

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