Publisher description for Henry James and sexuality / Hugh Stevens.


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Counter In Henry James and Sexuality, Hugh Stevens argues for a new interpretation of James's fiction. Stevens argues that James's writing contains daring and radical representations of transgressive desires and marginalized sexual identities. He demonstrates the importance of incestuous desire, masochistic fantasy, and same-sex passions in a body of fiction which ostensibly conforms to, while ironically mocking, the contemporary moral and publishing codes James faced. James critiques the very notion of sexual identity, and depicts the radical play of desires which exceed and disrupt any stable construction of identity. In a number of his major novels and tales, Stevens argues, James anticipates the main features of modern 'gay' or 'queer' fiction through plots and narrative strategies, which opposes heterosexual marriage and homoerotic friendship. This original and exciting work will transform our understanding of this most enigmatic of writers.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: James, Henry, 1843-1916 Views on sex, Homosexuality and literature United States History 19th century, Psychological fiction, American History and criticism, Sex (Psychology) in literature, Gender identity in literature, Sex role in literature, Desire in literature