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Moments of Insight in Long Novels by Henry James and Dorothy Richardson

Moments of Insight in Long Novels by Henry James and Dorothy Richardson <jats:p> Henry James and Dorothy Richardson wrote long novels in response to what they perceived as a crisis in transferable experience, a crisis traced by Walter Benjamin to the First World War. The scenes under discussion may, prima facie, seem to articulate what Benjamin termed Erlebnis (experience in the raw) or Jetztzeit (‘now-time’, in which the entire history of mankind is encompassed). However, the scenes (which occur in James's The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove and in Richardson's Honeycomb and Dimple Hill from the Pilgrimage sequence) in fact depict Erfahrung (the wise yield of reflected-upon experience). Furthermore, the novels’ lengthiness inculcates Erfahrung in the reader, too, who achieves insight based upon memory, resemblance, repetition and recognition across these long texts. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Moments of Insight in Long Novels by Henry James and Dorothy Richardson

Modernist Cultures , Volume 10 (3): 299 – Nov 1, 2015

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2015
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2015.0116
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Henry James and Dorothy Richardson wrote long novels in response to what they perceived as a crisis in transferable experience, a crisis traced by Walter Benjamin to the First World War. The scenes under discussion may, prima facie, seem to articulate what Benjamin termed Erlebnis (experience in the raw) or Jetztzeit (‘now-time’, in which the entire history of mankind is encompassed). However, the scenes (which occur in James's The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove and in Richardson's Honeycomb and Dimple Hill from the Pilgrimage sequence) in fact depict Erfahrung (the wise yield of reflected-upon experience). Furthermore, the novels’ lengthiness inculcates Erfahrung in the reader, too, who achieves insight based upon memory, resemblance, repetition and recognition across these long texts. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2015

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