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The Portrait's SubjectInventing Inner Life in the Nineteenth-Century United States$
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Sarah Blackwood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652597

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021



The Physiognomy of Consciousness

(p.107) Chapter Four Mind/Brain
The Portrait's Subject

Sarah Blackwood

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores Henry James’s career-long fascination with portraiture as foundational to his fiction’s ability to imagine new forms of inner life. His portrait fiction dramatizes shifting ideas about human psychology at the turn of the century, especially as those ideas found expression in the debates surrounding materialism, physiological psychology, and the “stream” of consciousness. James’s fiction is more attuned to the body as a cognitive system than most critics acknowledge. James’s portrait fiction plays a central part in the larger reimagination of human subjectivity, psychology, and inner life taking place at the turn of the century, as the physiological psychologies of the nineteenth century gave way to a return of the metaphysical in the form of psychoanalysis.

Keywords:   Henry James, Stream of consciousness, Metaphysics, Psychoanalysis, Materialism, Body as cognitive system

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