A Theory of Realistic Representation in Henry James

Ali Taghizadeh


A dimension of the later style of the fiction of Henry James is its deep concern not with selves and identities but with images and appearances. These works typically picture the character in in-between situations where he is recognized not as he really is but as he shows himself, as he appears in projected situations. However, another aspect of James’s later style is the magnificence of the appearance, because appearance is the outcome of reciprocal spaces which in turn signify vivified and productive relations among the agents of the narrative. These facades of James’s later style render it a space for a new mode of realistic representation which depends on a new kind of verisimilitude, the story in the service of language, and consciousness dramatization. And the watershed of the Jamesian verisimilitude is the work of successive centers of consciousness from where the tale is narrated. In addition, to show the deepest layers of the human soul, Jamess narrator can occasionally go beyond the frontiers of language and take use of the non-verbal structures of culture also. This mode of fiction mainly wants to exhibit the consciousness in the process of evolution. And it shows “the real” not as what has so far been considered as real, but as what emerges in this modern analytical consciousness.

Key words: James; Fiction; The real; Appearance; Representation; Consciousness; Verisimilitude


James; Fiction; The real; Appearance; Representation; Consciousness; Verisimilitude


Beach, J. W. (1954). The Method of Henry James. Philadelphia: Albert Saifer.

Cameron, J. M. (1984). History, Realism, and the Work of Henry James. English Studies in Canada, 10(3), 299-316.

Culler, J. (2000). Philosophy and Literature: The Fortunes of the Performative. Poetics Today, 21(3), 503-519.

James, H. (1994). The Real Thing. In Nina Baym et al. (Eds.), The Norton Anthology of American Literature (4thed., Vol. 2, pp. 315-332). New York and London: Norton & Company.

James, H. (1994). The Art of Fiction. In Nina Baym et al. (Eds.), The Norton Anthology of American Literature (4thed., Vol. 2, pp. 431-445). New York and London: Norton & Company.

James, H. (1997). The Portrait of a Lady. London: Penguin Popular Classics.

James, H. (1995). The Golden Bowl (Rpt. with author’s preface and an introduction and notes by Nicola Bradbury). Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited.

James, H. (1950). The American (Rpt. with an introduction by Joseph Warren Beach). New York and Toronto: Rinehart & Co., Inc..

James, H. (2003). The Ambassadors (Rpt. with an introduction by Harry Levin). London: Penguin Classics.

James, H. (1995). Preface to The American. In W. Veeder, & M. Griffin (Eds.), The Art of Criticism: Henry James on the Theory and the Practice of Fiction (pp. 165-196). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

James, H. (1995). Daisy Miller. London: Penguin Popular Classics.

Krook, D. (1954). The Method of the Later Works of Henry James. The London Magazine, 1(6), 55-70.

Marks, R. (1960). James’s Later Novels. New York: The William-Frederick Press.

Sonstegard, A. (2003). Singularly Like a Bad Illustration: The Appearance of Henry James’s “The Real Thing” in the Pot-Boiler Press. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 45(2), 173-200.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


Online Submissionhttp://cscanada.org/index.php/sll/submission/wizard


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture