Professions of Taste: Henry James, British Aestheticism, and Commodity Culture

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Stanford University Press, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 305 pages
The author traces Henry James's career-long encounter with the tradition of British aestheticism and places both in the context of the late-19th-century's professionalization and commodification of literary life. Professions of Taste reopens the question of later James in a new fashion and with a new perspective. A richer genealogy of modernism, and indeed postmodernism, begins to take shape, in which both the problematics of British aestheticism and James's relations with it play an important role. This book aims to enlighten the reader's understanding of the way Pre-Raphaelite concerns fertilized the aestheticist breeding grounds of Anglo-American modernism.
 

Contents

The Embrace of Contraries
1
British Aestheticism and American Culture
79
James Pater and the Discovery of Aestheticism
133
James Wilde and the Incorporation of Aestheticism
167
British Aestheticism and
202
Notes
261
Works Cited
281
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