Fiction in Henry James "Paste"

Topics: Henry James, Short story, Guy de Maupassant Pages: 9 (2813 words) Published: May 5, 2010
Fiction in Henry James`s

Table of Contents

1. Introduction3

2. American Modernism4

3. Henry James (1843-1916)5

4. Paste8

5. Fiction in Henry James10

6. Paste analysis12

6. Conclusion14

7. Bibliography15

1. Introduction

In my term paper I will primarily discuss Henry James and his short story Paste. Firstly, I will focus on the time he wrote the story and than I will describe his life and his three major writing phrases. Next, I will go on with giving the most important of the story touching the most important point of its sources and who influenced James to such a work. The next section in the term paper is one of the most important ones because it touches all the most important things connected with fiction in James`s short story which will be a guide towards the analysis of Paste. In the analysis I will examine the narrative techniques and I will connect the discourse with the story. Finally, the term paper ends with an conclusion summing up all the relative points.

2. American Modernism

The large cultural wave of Modernism, which gradually emerged in Europe and the United States in the early years of the 20th century, expressed a sense of modern life through art as a sharp break from the past, as well as from Western civilization's classical traditions. Modern life seemed radically different from traditional life -- more scientific, faster, more technological, and more mechanized. Modernism embraced these changes.

Technological innovation in the world of factories and machines inspired new attentiveness to technique in the arts. To take one example: Light, particularly electrical light, fascinated modern artists and writers. Posters and advertisements of the period are full of images of floodlit skyscrapers and light rays shooting out from automobile headlights, moviehouses, and watchtowers to illumine a forbidding outer darkness suggesting ignorance and old-fashioned tradition.

The way the story was told became as important as the story itself. Form and structure became more important than content. Henry James, William Faulkner, and many other American writers experimented with fictional points of view.

Vision and viewpoint became an essential aspect of the modernist novel as well. No longer was it sufficient to write a straightforward third-person narrative or (worse yet) use a pointlessly intrusive narrator. The way the story was told became as important as the story itself.

3. Henry James (1843-1916)


Henry James was born in New York City into a wealthy family. His father, Henry James Sr., was one of the best-known intellectuals in mid-nineteenth-century America, whose friends included Thoreau, Emerson and Hawthorne. In his youth James traveled back and forth between Europe and America. From an early age James had read the classics of English, American, French and German literature, and Russian classics in translation. He studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna and Bonn. At the age of nineteen he briefly attended Harvard Law School, but was more interested in literature than studying law. James published his first short story, A Tragedy of Errors two years later, and then devoted himself to literature. In 1866-69 and 1871-72 he was contributor to the Nation and Atlantic Monthly where his first novel, Watch and Ward (1871) was published. James wrote it while he was traveling through Venice and Paris. After living in Paris, where James was contributor to the New York Tribune, he moved to England, living first in London and then in Rye, Sussex. During his first years in Europe James wrote novels that portrayed Americans living abroad. James's years in England were uneventful. In 1905 he visited America for the first time in twenty-five year, and wrote 'Jolly Corner'. It was based on his observations of New York, but also a nightmare of a man, who is haunted by a doppelgänger. Between 1906 and 1910 James revised many of...

Bibliography: 1. Baldev Vaid, Krishna (1964).Technique in the tales of Henry James.Cambridge: HUP Press
2. Gale L., Robert (1965).Plots and Characters in the Fiction of Henry James. Hamden:The Shoe String
3. Pippin, Robert B. ( 2000). Henry James and modern moral life. Cambridge: HUP
4. Putt, S. Gorley (1966).Henry James. A reader`s Guide. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
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