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An “Entirely Personal” Success: Intertextuality and Self-Reflexive Ironies in Henry James’s “Pandora”

Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Roma Tre University, 00146 Rome, Italy
Humanities 2021, 10(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020061
Received: 7 January 2021 / Revised: 23 March 2021 / Accepted: 23 March 2021 / Published: 29 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forms of Literary Relations in Henry James)
Henry James’s self-allusions in “Pandora” have been read as a rewriting of his former treatment of the “American Girl abroad” in the comic mode. The hints at “a Tauchnitz novel by an American author” (90) establish an ironical reversal of the failures of understanding which had led to tragedy in “Daisy Miller.” Yet the ironies in “Pandora” are multi-layered, often self-reflexive, and can be further interpreted in the light of James’s controversial adaptation of his famous novella for the stage. In this framework, well-known Jamesian topoi appear both as a (self-)parody and a metaliterary dialogue James engages with his readers and critics. The author’s personal implication in this “American” story is further testified by his Notebooks, in which James states his intention to write about his friends Henry and “Clover” Adams. Indeed, “Pandora”’s multi-layered intertextuality includes undeclared references to Adams’s anonymously published novel, Democracy, a semi-satirical account of U.S. political life. My article focuses on the web of intertextual relations woven in this short story with a view to reflecting on James’s ideas concerning the politics of authorship, readership, literary success, and the fate of the American Girl. View Full-Text
Keywords: Henry James; “Pandora”; intertextuality; American girl; “Daisy Miller”; Henry Adams; Democracy; international theme; irony Henry James; “Pandora”; intertextuality; American girl; “Daisy Miller”; Henry Adams; Democracy; international theme; irony
MDPI and ACS Style

Vellucci, S. An “Entirely Personal” Success: Intertextuality and Self-Reflexive Ironies in Henry James’s “Pandora”. Humanities 2021, 10, 61. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020061

AMA Style

Vellucci S. An “Entirely Personal” Success: Intertextuality and Self-Reflexive Ironies in Henry James’s “Pandora”. Humanities. 2021; 10(2):61. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020061

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vellucci, Sabrina. 2021. "An “Entirely Personal” Success: Intertextuality and Self-Reflexive Ironies in Henry James’s “Pandora”" Humanities 10, no. 2: 61. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020061

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