In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The Master and the Dean: U of Missouri P,
Bev Hogue Abstract In The Master and the Dean, Rob Davidson describes Henry James's Prefaces to the New York edition of his novels as "an elaborately choreographed performance by an idealized artist figure with a didactic mission" to create and educate an audience for his fiction If James attempted to choreograph his career through literary criticism, however, he did not dance alone; rather, Davidson's study portrays Henry James and William Dean Howells as engaged in a decades-long transatlantic dance both cooperative and competitive, each author alternately leading or following, occasionally treading on the other's toes but always recovering elegantly.
No longer ossified in their aged visages, James and Howells come alive as Davidson brings their younger, more flexible selves to the forefront and then patiently follows the gradual change, growth, and development of ideas in their literary criticism.
Others have attempted to diagram this complex dance, and Davidson draws on the important contributions of scholars like Michael Anesko, whose Letters, Fictions, Lives: Henry James and William Dean Howells explores the ongoing conversation carried out through the two authors' letters, biography, and criticism.
Despite continuing interest in James and Howells's lives and letters, however, the authors' literary criticism has received less attention, and much of that has been focused on a few highly influential works, such as James's Prefaces and Howells's problematic Criticism and Fiction.
Davidson, on the other hand, considers the entire range of criticism written by both men, including frequently overlooked critical works such as the flawed but interesting Heroines of Fiction by Howells.
Master and Dean is arranged chronologically in three large sections —, —, and — ; within each section, Davidson examines the authors' critical essays individually and in dialogue with each other.
As a result, the published criticism begins to resemble an intense, passionate conversation conducted in extreme slow motion.
Despite the two authors' obvious differences, the long-distance conversation created through their criticism shared one overwhelming purpose: Sometimes this required some shoving.
For instance, Howells's essay "Henry James, Jr. The essay also betrays "James's discomfort with Howells's small perception of evil" ; indeed, James considered Howells's experience too small and his conception of fiction too shallow to allow true art to take root, but the Master was determined to avoid the Dean's errors by writing criticism that would "create a space for his own creative works to be appreciated" Howells, meanwhile, wondered whether the space James was defining for himself might be too small, his ideal audience too narrow; early in their relationship, he "senses that James writes to an insular audience of initiated, educated readers" This jockeying for space is evident in the debate over James's biography of Hawthorne, which had at its heart "the larger question of how to view America.
The conventional wisdom tends to agree with James, but Davidson discovers a more complex story in the criticism itself.
Unraveling the complicated publishing history of the essays collected in Criticism and Fiction, Davidson traces the development of Howells's aesthetic and examines the effects of the shifting contexts of the "smiling aspects" passage. Further, by considering the entire range of Howells's criticism, Davidson reminds us that Howells, though often perceived as a one-note writer, "explored an impressive range of rhetorical styles and critical voices, frequently blurring the boundaries between the 'literary' essay and other genres, including fiction and sociocultural reportage" 5.
Howells's later criticism provides particularly fertile ground; for instance, Davidson asserts that in "The Art of the Adsmith," Howells "presciently identifies the blurring of distinction between high art and Do you want to read the rest of this article?The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells (review) Bev Hogue MFS Modern Fiction Studies, Volume 52, Number 3, Fall , pp.
(Review) instance, Howells's essay "Henry James, Jr." ignited a firestorm. Home › Literary Criticism › The Realism of William Dean Howells.
The Realism of William Dean Howells This sounds much like T. S. Eliot in his essay “The Function of Criticism,” where he claimed to be diverging from Arnold and suggested that the critic’s function was disinterested “comparison and analysis.” Diary Analysis.
A literary movement that started in the late s and s and originated in reaction to traditional criticism that new critics saw as largely concerned with matters extraneous to the text, e.g., with the biography or psychology of the author or the work's relationship to literary history.
critical analysis of the artistic principles of william dean howells's criticism and ji'ictiou by lvieans of a comjarison with aristotle's poetics.
Anthropological Criticism: An Essay By Nasrullah Mambrol on June 22, • (0) Anthropological criticism refers, broadly speaking, to a form of criticism that situates the making, dissemination and reception of literature within the conventions and cultural practices of human societies.
This essay challenges received readings of William Dean Howells's A Modern Instance and well-established critical assumptions that associate his realist project with public male legal discourse and define it strongly against presumptively feminine rhetorical strategies like sentimentality.