Henry James pp 157-193 | Cite as

Text and Countertext: The Golden Bowl

  • Mary Cross


The Golden Bowl, James’s last completed novel, represents the apparent triumph in his art of form as content. It is a dominion achieved, for the most part, by style. Yet both James and his heroine face at the end the painful irony that even so highly wrought a form may not be adequate to what it seeks to contain.


Dust Cage Flare Smoke Toll 


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  1. 3.
    As Eileen Watts observes in ‘The Golden Bowl: A Theory of Metaphor’ [Modern Language Studies, XIII (Winter 1987)] the actual golden bowl has the advantage of moving ‘in both worlds of art life’ (p. 174). Watts sees the development of the bowl as a vehicle that becomes ‘its own tenor’ (p. 175).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mary Cross 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Cross
    • 1
  1. 1.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadisonUSA

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