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Henry James and the Limits of Historicism

Posnock, Ross

Henry James, in my view, prefigures those of a later generation--W. E. B. Du Bois and John Dewey--in enacting a pragmatism that turns aesthetics from contemplation to action that cuts against the grain of capitalist efficiency and utility. In neglecting this tradition of pragmatist aesthetics, cultural studies not only depends on a caricatured notion of aesthetic value, but foregoes the opportunity to profit from a tradition that resolves the obdurate conflict between aesthetics and politics.

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The Henry James Review

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English and Comparative Literature
Published Here
June 24, 2015