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By Professor Phillip Barrish

Concentrating on key works of late-nineteenth and early- twentieth-century American literary realism, Phillip Barrish lines the emergence of latest methods of gaining highbrow prestige—that is, new methods of gaining a point of cultural attractiveness. via prolonged readings of works by way of Henry James, William Dean Howells, Abraham Cahan, and Edith Wharton, Barrish emphasizes the diversities among realist modes of cultural authority and people linked to the increase of the social sciences.

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American Literary Realism, Critical Theory, and Intellectual Prestige, 1880-1995

Targeting key works of late-nineteenth and early- twentieth-century American literary realism, Phillip Barrish lines the emergence of latest methods of gaining highbrow prestige—that is, new methods of gaining some extent of cultural reputation. via prolonged readings of works by means of Henry James, William Dean Howells, Abraham Cahan, and Edith Wharton, Barrish emphasizes the diversities among realist modes of cultural authority and people linked to the increase of the social sciences.

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Nothing. ” (pp. ‒). Later, March spends an afternoon wandering the streets not because he is drawn toward observing the “war” between the strikers and management but because he “interested himself in the apparent indifference of the mighty city” (p. ). 59 March’s having cultivated his attention to the frustrating negativities that American society presents comes in handy during small moments of implicit cultural competition such as, for example, when he and Isabel have to travel with the friendly but self-important Mr.

Just such an explicitly reluctant acceptance of the still-countrified Laphams is what Bromfield sees the Corey family facing: in the same conversation where he asks his wife to excuse the phrase “kick,” he also wonders with her what “our excuse” will be for Tom’s marriage to a Lapham (pp. –). Howells and the roots of realist taste  It deserves strong emphasis that Howells is at pains in this novel not to generalize his indictment of Corey taste beyond its failure to acquire an appreciation for flavors of the real (again excepting Tom).

After her future in-laws visit the Lapham home, Penelope is “able to report to Corey that when she entered the room his father was sitting . . a little tilted away from the Emancipation group, as if he expected the Lincoln to hit him . ; and that Mrs. Corey looked as if she were not sure but the Eagle pecked” (p. ). Just as Penelope and Tom bond over discussions of George Eliot novels, so too they bond over Penelope’s report of this scene. In Strange Gourmets, a study exploring sophistication as such, Joseph Litvak has argued that one powerful way “to outsophisticate the other is  American Literary Realism to incorporate .

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