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Henry James and the Art of Auto/biography


Mirosława Buchholtz

Henry James (1843–1916) has been widely acclaimed for the elegance of his prose, the incisiveness of his social comment, and the subtlety of his psychological analyses. Whereas James’s tales and novels have been carefully studied over the past decades, his non-fiction, including literary criticism, travel writing, biographies, and autobiographies, still remains at the margins of critical activities. This study seeks to explore some of these neglected aspects of James’s work, while at the same time interrogating the traditional formula of literary auto/biography. It also attempts to piece together an image of James as a subject and object of biographical and autobiographical endeavors, including portraiture.
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Notes to Chapter I

1Marlene Kadar, “Life Writing,” in Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, ed. W.H. New (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), 660–666.

2Ibid., 661.

3Publications in this area include: Laura Marcus’s Autobiographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994) as well as Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2001).

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