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The Problem of Completeness in Henry James’s The Spoils of Poynton

Gary Totten    University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA    

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abstract

James’s essays on art and exhibitions written between the 1870s and the end of the century illustrate his attention to the composition of the art exhibition within the space of the gallery or museum. James’s perception of art exhibit design and effect inform his representation of Mrs Gareth’s art collection and its setting in The Spoils of Poynton (1897). As James looked to art and the art exhibit for models to represent ‘the workings of the novel’, The Spoils of Poynton suggests the impossibility of artistic ‘completeness’ within the realistic aesthetic.

Published
March 9, 2020
Accepted
Nov. 18, 2019
Submitted
May 10, 2019
Language
EN