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n Journal of Literary Studies - The problem of representing "Truly" in Henry James's

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Abstract

In <I>The Tragic Muse&lt;/I&gt; (1978) Henry James offers a study of the ways in which acting and portraiture are unseated from a locus of transcendental signification by the fact that they are irretrievably and problematically cut off from origin and self-authenticating presence. Both Miriam Rooth's performances and Nick's portraits fail to bridge the "spacing" that divides imitation from that which it represents. Jacques Derrida's essay "Signature Event Context" (1982) proves to be particularly apposite to a consideration of the narrative and thematic permutations thrown up by the problem of deferred origin in <I>The Tragic Muse</I>. The notion of iterability is central to Derrida's essay: iterability is a function of &lt;I&gt;différance&lt;/I&gt; which refers to a sign's effective operation in the absence of a producer or addressee; as such it is especially pertinent to a discussion of imitation and representation in James's work.

In <I>The Tragic Muse&lt;/I&gt; (1978) bied Henry James 'n studie van die maniere waarop toneelspel en uitbeelding ontsetel word vanuit 'n lokus van transendentale betekenis deur die feit dat dit onherroeplik en problematies afgesny is van oorsprong en selfoutentiserende teenwoordigheid. Sowel Miriam Rooth se optredes as Nick se uitbeeldings slaag nie daarin om die "spasiering" te oorbrug wat imitasie onderskei van wat dit verteenwoordig. Jacques Derrida se essay "Signature Event Context" (1982) blyk by uitstek van toepassing te wees op 'n oorweging van die narratiewe en tematiese permutasies wat deur die probleem van verskuilde oorsprong in <I>The Tragic Muse&lt;/I&gt; na vore kom. Die idee van herhaalbaarheid is sentraal in Derrida se essay: herhaalbaarheid is 'n funksie van &lt;I&gt;différance&lt;/I&gt; wat verwys na 'n sinnebeeld se effektiewe werking in die afwesigheid van 'n regisseur of 'n geadresseerde; as sulks is dit veral pertinent tot 'n bespreking van imitasie en voorstelling in James se werk.

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/content/litstud/19/2/EJC62351
2003-06-01
2016-12-04
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