Modernity with Casanova and James

“Modernity’s connection with fashion is a sign of its inherent instability. It is also inevitably an occasion of rivalry and competition: because the modern by definition is always new, and therefore open to challenge, the only way in literary space to be truly modern is to contest the present as outmoded…” (91).

Casanova, P. (2004). The world republic of letters. (p. 91). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

“There had been after luncheon much dispersal, all in the interest of the original motive, a view of Weatherend itself and the fine things, intrinsic features, pictures, heirlooms, treasures of all the arts, that made the place almost famous; and the great rooms were so numerous that guests could wander at their will…” (445).

James, H. (1999). Henry james: Major stories and essay. (1 ed., p. 445). New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.


Notes: James’ description of all of these heirlooms and possessions is an example of Casanova’s idea that the connection of modernity and fashion is indeed competitive. James’ descriptions of this location shows the grandeur of this house.

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