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2018 | 9 "Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia" | 123-132

Article title

Forms of Nostalgia in Henry James’s “The American Scene”



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4th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference “Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia” (17-18 Semptember, 2015 in Gdansk)

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Henry James was not a sentimental writer. However, in his later books we can find traces of repressed emotions and melancholy. One of the most intriguing literary documents showing the nostalgic strain in James is his collection The American Scene (1907), a record of the novelist’s return to the USA after a twenty-years-old absence. It contains various manifestations of James’s nostalgia – for example, his memories of New York and his melancholic recollections of the places connected with his youth. Also, it shows James’s convoluted rhetoric of memory as a space of repression and displacement as well as his unwillingness to address these issues in a direct fashion.



  • University of Opole (Poland), Institiute of English


  • Edel Leon. 1972. Henry James. The Master: 1901-1916. Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company.
  • James Henry. 1984. French Writers, Other European Writers, The Prefaces to the New York Edition, ed. Leon Edel. New York: The Library of America.
  • James Henry. 1987. The Complete Notebooks of Henry James, eds. Leon Edel and Lyall H. Powers. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • James Henry. 1993. Collected Travel Writings. Great Britain and America: English Hours, The American Scene, Other Travels, ed. Richard Howard. New York: The Library of America.
  • James Henry. 1996. The Jolly Corner, 697-731. In: Complete Stories 1898-1910, ed. Denis Donoghue. New York: The Library of America.

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