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The Art of Criticism : Henry James on the Theory and the Practice of Fiction - William Veeder

The Art of Criticism

Henry James on the Theory and the Practice of Fiction

By: Henry James, William Veeder (Editor, Introduction by), Susan M. Griffin (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st January 1986
ISBN: 9780226391977
Number Of Pages: 528

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In "The Art of Criticism," William Veeder and Susan M. Griffin have brought together for the first time the best of the Master's critical work: the most important of his Prefaces, which R. P. Blackmur has called "the most sustained and I think the most eloquent and original piece of literary criticism in existence"; his studies of Hawthorne, George Eliot, Balzac, Zola, de Maupassant, Turgenev, Sante-Beuve, and Arnold; and his essays on the function of criticism and the future of the novel.
The editors have provided what James himself emphasized in his literary criticism--the text's context. Each selection is framed by an editorial commentary and notes which give its biographical, bibliographical, and critical background and cite other references in James' work to the topic discussed. This framework, along with the editors' introduction, gives the reader a sense of the place of these pieces in the history of criticism.

An intelligently organized, painstakingly annotated gleaning of Henry James' critical writings, brought together in this form for the first time. (Leon Edel collected all of the critical writings into two volumes in 1984,) Included here are James' studies of Hawthorne, George Eliot, Balzac, Zola, de Maupassant, Turgenev, Sainte-Beuve and Matthew Arnold; a selection of nine Prefaces from the New York edition of James' works, plus his essays on the function of criticism and the future of the novel. Together, they offer a well-chosen overview of the master's 50-year-long career as probably the finest, most perceptive literary critic of the 19th century. James' critical models were Sainte-Beuve and Arnold and "disinterestedness" was the ideal he sought in his literary reviews, biographies and appreciations. The critic, he felt, must be somehow "in-between,' part-philosopher/part-historian; part-scholar/part-man of the world; part-masculine/part-feminine. "Axe-grinding" was not one of the critic's functions. Instead, it was "to compare a work with itself, with its own concrete standard of truth," as he wrote in 1865. This quality is perhaps best shown in his essay on Zola. Here James manages to treat objectively a writer whose personal integrity he admired enormously but whose vision of the world repelled him. It's a tour de force that many modern critics would do well to emulate. The editors divide their selections into the four periods of James' creative life: as practical critic, as theoretician, as self-critic in "The Prefaces" and as retrospective analyst. Except for the book-length Hawthorne, all the essays are reproduced in their entirety. Commentaries and notes place each of the selections in context of James' oeuvre, citing passages from works not included in the present edition. A superb bibliography and an equally thorough index round out the anthology. For anyone interested in the art of criticism in general, and James' contribution to the form in particular, this will serve as an indispensable reference work for years to come. (Kirkus Reviews)

Introduction
Practicing Novelist as Practical Critic
Matthew Arnold'sEssays in Criticism(1865)
Sainte-Beuve (1880, 1904)
Middlemarch(1873)
Honoreacute; de Balzac (1875, 1878)
FromHawthorne(1879)
Ivan Turgeacute;nieff (1884, 1888)
The Theorist on Fiction and Culture
The Art of Fiction (1884, 1888)
Guy de Maupassant (1888)
Criticism (1891, 1893)
The Future of the Novel (1899)
The Master and His Prefaces
Roderick Hudson (1907)
The American (1907)
The Portrait of a Lady (1908)
The Awkward Age (1908)
What Maisie Knew (1908)
The Aspern Papers (1908)
The Wings of the Dove (1909)
The Ambassadors (1909)
The Golden Bowl (1909)
Genius in Old Age
Emile Zola (1903, 1914)
The Novel in The Ring and the Book (1912, 1914)
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226391977
ISBN-10: 0226391973
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 1st January 1986
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.0  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 0.79