This book examines the relationship between the writings of Henry James and the historical formation of mass culture. Throughout his career, James was concerned with such characteristically modern cultural forms as advertising, biography, and the new journalism, forms which together he termed the 'devouring publicity' of modern life. Richard Salmon's study situates James's fiction and criticism within the context of the contemporary debates surrounding these rival discursive practices. He explores both the nature of James's contribution to the critique of mass culture and the extent of his immersion within it. James's persistent and ambivalent negotiation of the boundaries between private and public experience ranged from a defence of the artist's right to privacy, to his own counter-practice of self-publicity. By drawing upon contemporary critical theory, Salmon offers a reassessment of the politics of James's cultural criticism.
"Salmon adds a quiet, thoughtful, solidly researched contribution to an area of James studies...Most useful for graduates, researchers, and faculty." Choice