The Library of Henry James: Between the Catalog and the Deep Blue Sea
This article looks back to the book The Library of Henry James published in 1987 by James’s most renowned and possessive biographer Leon Edel and the biographer’s friend, the independent scholar Adeline Tintner. While Edel outlines the history of James’s book collection in his house in Great Britain, Tintner offers examples of James’s use of the trope of library in his fiction. In between the two essays, the two authors included a catalog of James’s collection in Rye, indicating the location of all the items as of 1987. This article relies on the information provided in Edel and Tintner’s book, to which little has been added since, and offers a theoretical and historical approach to the topic of library in the context of Henry James’s biography and literary heritage. The article gives theoretical ramifications to the findings of Edel and Tintner by distinguishing between the three meanings of “library:” a physical space, a cataloged collection, and a literary trope. It also juxtaposes Edel’s biographical-historical essay and Tintner’s literary analysis with the autobiography of Henry James, in which the library emerges as a place partaking of several traditions: patriarchy, the process of initiation and maturation along with social and national self-fashioning.
Henry James; Lamb House; katalog; podróż; kosmopolityzm
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