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The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James, and the Challenge of Modernity Ross Posnock

The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James, and the Challenge of Modernity

Ross Posnock

Published
ISBN : 9780195071245
Paperback
372 pages
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 About the Book 

In this important revisionist study, Posnock integrates literary and psychological criticism with social and cultural theory to make a major advance in our understanding of the life and thought of two great American figures, Henry and William James.MoreIn this important revisionist study, Posnock integrates literary and psychological criticism with social and cultural theory to make a major advance in our understanding of the life and thought of two great American figures, Henry and William James.Challenging canonical images of both brothers, Posnock is the first to place them in a rich web of cultural and intellectual affiliations comprised of a host of American and European theorists of modernity. A startlingly new Henry James emerges from a cross-disciplinary dialogue, which features Veblen, Santayana, Bourne, and Dewey, as well as Weber, Simmel, Benjamin, and Adorno.While contributing to current debates about the responsibility of the intellectual, Posnocks work will fascinate the general reader as well as literary and cultural critics and historians.This is a major work of criticism, a brilliant reconfiguration of literary culture and of literary modernism at the turn into the 20th century, and it offers some of the best interpretations I have ever read of Henry and William James, and of many attendant figures.- Richard PoirierA brilliant study - a remarkable synthesis of cultural history, close reading, and theoretical speculation. It will make an important contribution to James studies, and an equally significant contribution to our understanding of American culture, to debates on modernity, and to discussions of the possibilities and problems of cultural criticism itself.- Jonathan Freedman