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THE JAMESIAN LEGACY IN "THE GOOD SOLDIER"
Studies in the Novel
Vol. 3, No. 4, TWENTIETH CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL (winter 1971), pp. 365-373
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29531482
Page Count: 9
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The Jamesian tradition in the novel has rarely been discussed in detail. An important link between Henry James and the modern novel is Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier. The vision of life and the new techniques that James experimented with after 1895 are reflected by Ford's novel. Thematically, Ford's attitude to his subject—the "good people" whose moral weaknesses he exposes—is clarified through the study of James's antecedents in What Maisie Knew, The Awkward Age, and The Sacred Fount. The kind of world Ford chose to explore and his manner of presentation are direct outgrowths of James's new concept of structure in the novel, his bewildering shifting of point of view, and his attempt to discover ways to project character and experience without the degree of omni-science needed in nineteenth-century fiction. The very milieu of Ford's novel, its emphasis on the process of knowledge, its structure, style, and Ford's idea of character are all strikingly Jamesian and reveal a specific instance of James's influence on the development of modern fiction. (JT)
Studies in the Novel © 1971 The Johns Hopkins University Press