Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Unspoken Intimacy in Henry James's "The Papers"

Matthew Rubery
Nineteenth-Century Literature
Vol. 61, No. 3 (December 2006), pp. 343-367
DOI: 10.1525/ncl.2006.61.3.343
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/ncl.2006.61.3.343
Page Count: 25
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($22.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Unspoken Intimacy in Henry James's "The Papers"
Preview not available

Abstract

Henry James's "The Papers" (1903) was among the first works of fiction to identify changing conceptions of intimacy brought about by new communication technologies during the late nineteenth century-a time described by James as "the age of interviewing." This essay's consideration of the interview as a model for supposedly intimate conversation reveals how the public's desire to appear in newsprint ultimately poses a far more profound problem in James's fiction than does the relatively straightforward defense of privacy against invasive journalists for which James has been credited. Such readings fail to explain James's attention to precisely those characters most interested in reading about other people's private lives or even in having their own private lives read about by others, a problem best assessed in terms of interpersonal relationships. What "The Papers" designates as "the unspoken" between the two journalists, Maud Blandy and Howard Bight, might instead be taken to express the story's conception of intimacy as a form of speechlessness defined in opposition to the confessional voice of the interview. A number of conversations involving unspoken intimacy suggest that the lesson of "The Papers" is that intimacy with people we do not know is far easier to establish than intimacy with people we do know.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350
  • Thumbnail: Page 
351
    351
  • Thumbnail: Page 
352
    352
  • Thumbnail: Page 
353
    353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367