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Dead Letters SentQueer Literary Transmission$
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Kevin Ohi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694778

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694778.001.0001

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The Beast’s Storied End

The Beast’s Storied End

(p.156) 8 The Beast’s Storied End
Dead Letters Sent

Kevin Ohi

University of Minnesota Press

Two of the best and most influential readings of James’s “The Beast in the Jungle”—by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Leo Bersani—turn, in crucial ways, on the story’s ending, and, more specifically, on James’s own relation to a failure of lucidity on the part of the story’s main character, John Marcher. In a detailed reading of faces and the orientation of bodies in the tale, Chapter Eight examines the story in relation to prospopoeia, apostrophe, and free indirect style, finding in the story’s own consideration on the complexities of address a way to meditate on the legacy of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and on the relation of literary reading to queer theory.

Keywords:   Literary tradition, Literary and cultural transmission, Queer literary criticism, Queer theory, Initiation and Development, Close Reading, Potentiality, Temporality of Consciousness

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