The Nature of True Virtue: Theology, Psychology, and Politics in the Writings of Henry James, Sr., Henry James, Jr., and William James

By James Duban | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. For historical and contextual approaches to virtue, benevolence, and self-interest that clarify concerns ranging from the novels of Jane Austen to the moral defects of Marxism, see Ruderman, MacIntyre.

2. Henry James, Sr., to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 11 May 1843. The transcription of this utterance in Notes of a Son and Brother differs slightly from the manuscript, which places no comma after "would" and which refers to "critic of philosophy" rather than, as signified by the ellipsis above, "critic of this philosophy." See Houghton Library Manuscript bMS Am 102.9, folder 1 of 7. Quoted by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and Bay James Baker.

3. See (for scholars), Young; Warren; Perry, Thought; Lewis; Feinstein, Becoming; Matthiessen, James Family; Grattan; Quentin Anderson, American; Holly; Strouse; Weissbourd; Moseley; Habegger, Father; and Nadelman. My discussion of the communitarian tendencies of Edwards's ideas takes into account the Hopkinsian disposition to channel a love for Being in general toward social reform. See Conforti, 580–83; Haroutunian, 82–87.

4. Tuttleton, 68; Robinson, 119.

5. See Fussell (17), who quotes Henry Jr.'s 1865 notice of Elizabeth Rundle Charles's Hearthstone Series. Fussell's invaluable enumeration of religious utterance and references in the works of Henry Jr. suggests not so much a dogmatic Catholicism of the novelist than a persistent juxtaposition of Catholic and Protestant concerns, settings, and personae (18, 21, 31, 42, 69–70, 80–81, 84, 88–90, 97, 110, 113, 115, 119, 138–45, 149, 151–52). The current study obviously differs from that of Fussell, who limits James's "religious… side" to his "Catholic side" (153). Still, I join Fussell in seeking to remedy the fact that "James criticism has shown little or no interest in his religious content" (126).

6. Freedman, 186; cf. 148. Also see Ellmann; Stambaugh; Tintner, 143–64; and Bellringer, 31–34, 118, 123.

7. See, among others, Krook, Ambassadors; Hocks, Ambassadors; and Hoople. Hoople does, in fact, briefly evoke Edwards's True Virtue, but toward a defense of Strether that I challenge in chapter 9.

8. Cameron, 22, 26–27. Also see Williams's momentary reservations about applying the ideas of Merleau-Ponty to works of Henry Jr. that preceded "the formal establishment of the Phenomenological Movement as a clearly identifiable philosophical school" (56). My study provides an alternative, as well, to Pippin, whose account of "Henry James's treatment of moral life in its uniquely modern dimensions" (23) appeared while my manuscript was in press but still open to notational comment here and below. I agree that the novelist's view of morality entails the juxtaposition of self-interest, self-sacrifice, and the interest of others (24, 30). Pippin, however, examines these issues solely in modern terms;

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