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"Mildly Theatrical": Attending (to) The Awkward Age

Horne, Philip; (2020) "Mildly Theatrical": Attending (to) The Awkward Age. The Henry James Review , 41 (3) pp. 271-279. 10.1353/hjr.2020.0022. Green open access

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Abstract

An extraordinary experiment in James's career, refusing to "go behind" and conjuring up a hypothetical acute spectator (and "listener") whose interpretation of the action is frequently invoked to nudge ours in the right direction, The Awkward Age is full of the sound of talk—it is a novel largely conducted through "really constructive dialogue, dialogue organic and dramatic, speaking for itself, representing and embodying substance and form." Closely following on the most intense period of James's engagement with the theater, it stages an ideal production that asks for a kind and level of attention, an inward performance of the text that even seasoned readers of late James struggle to sustain, while offering multiple rewards and satisfactions. This essay aims to watch and listen closely to the working of this process in the hope of bringing into focus some features of James's evolving treatment of conversation, a crucial matter as he moves into the "major phase."

Type: Article
Title: "Mildly Theatrical": Attending (to) The Awkward Age
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1353/hjr.2020.0022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1353/hjr.2020.0022
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10157742
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