By Sigi Jottkandt
Addresses moral and aesthetic concerns in 3 significant works by means of Henry James.
What is the problem with the ladies in Henry James? within the Portrait of a girl, The Wings of the Dove, and his brief tale "The Altar of the Dead," one lady returns to a monster of a husband, one other dies instead of confront the reality of her lover’s engagement, whereas one more stakes her all on having a candle lit for a useless lover, merely to speedily reject it. Exploring those unusual offerings, Sigi Jöttkandt argues that the singularity of those acts lies of their moral nature, and that the moral precept concerned can't be divorced from the query of aesthetics. She combines shut readings of James with suggestive excursions via Kantian aesthetics and set idea to discover the classy underpinning of the Lacanian moral act, which has been principally ignored within the present force to find a Cartesian beginning for the topic because the topic of science.
"If ‘instant classic’ skill something in any respect this present day, it ability Jöttkandt’s ebook! Henry James is the silent companion of Jacques Lacan: by no means pointed out in Lacan’s paintings, he still, in an uncanny approach, ‘stages’ all major Lacanian thoughts. Jöttkandt’s e-book brings this mystery hyperlink into the open: after analyzing it, our belief of either Lacan and James will switch essentially. those that freely choose to forget about this booklet are easily people who are bent to freely pick out stupidity!" — Slavoj Zizek
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Additional resources for Acting Beautifully: Henry James and the Ethical Aesthetic (SUNY Series in Psychoanalysis and Culture)
But her choice makes perfect sense to Isabel for whom Osmond seems to embody precisely the perfect balance between necessity and freedom she seeks. Osmond, like Merle before him, strikes Isabel as succeeding in the delicate task of managing to retain “one’s independence” in the face of the demands of social convention. They do so, not by rejecting necessity out of hand, but by embracing it. In their easy submission to the “language” of manners, Osmond and Merle appear to Isabel to expand the possibilities of selfexpression: “To be so cultivated and civilised, so wise and so easy, and still make so light of it—that was really to be a great lady, especially when one so carried and presented one’s self ” (PL 166), a trait Isabel resolves to try to emulate when she finds herself secretly exclaiming “I should like Portrait of an Act 17 awfully to be so” (PL 165).
But, as I said, the universality implied in reflective judgment is not found in some external substantive content.
Nevertheless, the subject can also never say, “This fetish object was imposed on me from without, I had no choice in the matter,” since the fetishist nevertheless remains fixated on an object that he or she refuses to give up—the object, in other words, was in a sense chosen by the subject. Although the original choice to freely choose this or that object can never be phenomenalized, it nevertheless must be presupposed, otherwise the object would have no more meaning for the fetishist Portrait of an Act 31 than it does for any other desiring, nonfetishistic subject.