TECHNIQUES OF UNREADABILITY IN THE WINGS OF THE DOVE

Ali Taghizadeh

Abstract


The later Henry James was aware that English fiction was at the risk of an excessive “vulgarity” from which he was anxious to help save it. To achieve this purpose, he used the techniques of a strategy of “unreadability” in his fiction. The present study is an attempt to critically analyze the techniques of “unreadability” in The Wings of the Dove. These techniques are strategic contradiction, waiting as representational dilemma, the unknowable character, metaphorical perception, and the function of the labyrinth. However, another argument of the present paper is that the function of these techniques in James’s novel is paradoxical, because on the one hand they render it unreadable while on the other hand they make it into a narrative space where the interaction of text and reader guarantees the production of new experiences.

 

Keywords: The Wings of the Dove, unreadability, representational waiting, unknowable character, labyrinth


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