Henry would never know he hadn't written it himself: The Implications of "Dictation" (2008) for Jamesian Style
This essay explores the critical implications of Cynthia Ozick’s “Dictation,” a work of biographical fiction in which James and Conrad’s typists covertly exchange excerpts from “The Jolly Corner” and “The Secret Sharer.” Ozick’s conceit enables us to read against the plot of the tales, emphasizing the queer desire of each hero for his alter ego over the narrative restoration of compulsory heterosexuality. Her disruption of the link between extract and referent disallows naïve attempts to extrapolate a gay biographical subject from a queer reading of the text, emphasizing Jamesian style’s intrinsic reluctance to anchor the sign to a coherent identity.
Citation : Layne, B. (2014) Henry would never know he hadn't written it himself: The Implications of "Dictation" (2008) for Jamesian Style. The Henry James Review. 35(3), pp.248-256
ISSN : 0273-0340
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities