Foreign Inflections and Infections: Language Clashes in Henry James's The Tragic Muse Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Often shrugged off as an eccentricity, James's habit of inserting non-English verbal elements into English texts is central to his artistry. His novelĀ The Tragic MuseĀ (1890/1908) demonstrates how French interpolations reinforce key oppositions, like that between French devotion to the aesthetic realm and English preoccupation with public affairs. The development of Miriam Rooth's career hinges on her French apprenticeship, which she still cherishes on the less propitious English stage. Her allegiance is crucially confirmed by her continuing reliance on French phraseology, which empowers her to resist the solicitations of her English suitor, Peter Sherringham.

publication date

  • 2018