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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 6: The American Novel 1879-1940$
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Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385342.001.0001

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Henry James, the Novel, and the Mediascapes of Modernity

Henry James, the Novel, and the Mediascapes of Modernity

(p.234) 15 Henry James, the Novel, and the Mediascapes of Modernity
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Jonathan Freedman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Henry James's use of fiction to craft a textual response to modernity in its many manifestations, all of which were generated, heightened, and transmitted by the emergence of new visual, aural, and print media. It first considers technological developments that gave rise to a new, increasingly transnational media culture in the late Victorian period, including the invention of the radio and telephone, the typewriter, and the gramophone, as well as advances in film technology and photographic methods. It then looks at James's transmission of the latest developments in British and Continental fiction to the United States, along with the dialectical relation between James's fiction and the emergent mass culture of the era. It also explores the transnationality and cosmopolitanism of some of James's novels such as Daisy Miller (1879) and The Portrait of a Lady (1881). The chapter concludes with an assessment of James's engagement with new media, especially hypermedia.

Keywords:   novels, Henry James, fiction, modernity, transnationality, cosmopolitanism, Daisy Miller, The Portrait of a Lady, new media, hypermedia

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