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|Title: ||The Vision of Excess: Specula(riza)tion in Henry James's The Ambassadors|
|Authors: ||王俊三;Wang, Chun-San|
|Keywords: ||"speculative economy, erotic imagination, The Ambassadors, expenditure, transgression,
|Issue Date: ||2012-11-23 15:04:15 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract: ||"This article is a study of the performativity and metaphoricity of desire and its
corollary—anxiety--in Henry James’s The Ambassadors. It examines the passage of Lambert Strether,
the protagonist of the novel, to Europe as predominantly an exploration of the erotic, a conscious effort
to delimit and to cross the boundary between self and other, with his eroticized and eroticizing
speculation/specularization serving as the point of departure and penetration. However, encoded in the
socio-political field of exchange, desire is also subject to the chain of displacements and deferments and,
hence, only to partial fulfillment. Thus, rather than pursuing the thematic of the triumph of desiring
imagination over reality in The Ambassadors as many Jamesian critics have done, this article examines
the endless negotiation between the individual’s desires and the dominant sexual ideology, focusing
discussion on expenditure (restrictive or otherwise), sacrifice, and the theatricality of desire in the novel.
The incessant dialectic between interdiction (in the form of the New England conscience) and its
transgression both structures the novel’s progress and maps out the itinerary of Strether’s nomadic desire.
This article concludes that Strether’s specular/speculative economy denotes both the triumph and the
defeat of his erotic imagination. "
|Relation: ||Asian Journal of Arts and Sciences, 2(1): pp.67-92.|
|Appears in Collections:||[外國語文學系] 期刊論文|
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