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Framing and Reframing the Ladies

Viewing Attitudes in "The Portrait of a Lady</I> and Its Cinematic Counterpart

Series:

Heike Fahrenberg

Striving to leave fidelity-criticism behind, this comparative analysis treats Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady and its cinematic counterpart by Jane Campion as complementary versions of Isabel’s story. The graphic integration of stills functioning as visual evidence emphasizes the dialogic quality of this comparison based on non-essentialist feminist and post-structuralist principles. Mainly focusing on literary and visual strategies employed by both media to represent wo/men on page and screen, this analysis shows how those strategies result in a non-affirmative realism preventing both novel and movie from killing their ‘ladies’ into art.
Contents: Self-Reflexive Acts of Framing – Framing Buildings, Framing Minds - On Houses, Prisons, Convention(s) – Narcissism’s Empty Mirrors – Isabel, Osmond, and Emerson - What’s Love Got to Do With It? – Convention Incarnate: Osmond as the World’s ‘Evil Eye’ – Observing the Proprieties - Falling for Merle – Caught in Convention’s Cage – The House of Darkness – Preferring Osmond – Consummate Pieces Cosumed: The Ball of Convention – Convention Contextualized – Imperfect Closure - Perfect Endings – Non-Affirmative Realism.