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Impressionist Subjects Gender, Interiority, and Modernist Fiction in England cover
  • ISBN: 9780252025846
  • ISBN10: 0252025849

Impressionist Subjects Gender, Interiority, and Modernist Fiction in England

by Tamar Katz

  • List Price: $42.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/2000
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Exploring the intersection of ideas about woman, subjectivity, and literary authority, Impressionist Subjects reveals the female subject as crucial in framing contradictions central to modernism, particularly the tension between modernism's claim to timeless art and its critique of historical conditions.

Against the backdrop of the New Woman movement of the 1890s, Tamar Katz establishes literary impressionism as integral to modernist form and to the modernist project of investigating the nature and function of subjectivity. Focusing on a duality common to impressionism and contemporary ideas of feminine subjectivity, Katz shows how the New Woman reconciled the paradox of a subject at once immersed in the world and securely enclosed in a mysterious interiority.

Katz reads Walter Pater's aestheticism in the context of Victorian domestic ideology, a world split between safe interiors and risky exteriors. She uses some of the central debates of the 1890s on women's knowledge and interiority to illuminate fiction by George Egerton, Sarah Grand, and Henry James. She looks at how Lord Jim and The Good Soldier project a universalized masculine narrator against a vision of female subjectivity that is too close for comfort. She also considers Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves as impressionist experiments that explore the complexity of the connection between modernist abstraction and feminine subjectivity.

Sophisticated and tightly argued, Impressionist Subjects contributes substantially to the reassessment and expansion of the modernist fiction canon.

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