Exploring the intersection of ideas about woman, subjectivity, and literary authority, Impressionist Subjects
reveals the female subject as crucial in framing contradictions central to modernism, particularly the tension between modernism's claim to timeless art and its critique of historical conditions. Against the backdrop of the New Woman movement of the 1890s, Tamar Katz establishes literary impressionism as integral to modernist form and to the modernist project of investigating the nature and function of subjectivity. Focusing on a duality common to impressionism and contemporary ideas of feminine subjectivity, Katz shows how the New Woman reconciled the paradox of a subject at once immersed in the world and securely enclosed in a mysterious interiority. Book chapters feature discussion of modernists including Walter Pater, George Egerton, Sarah Grand, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf.
Sophisticated and tightly argued, Impressionist Subjects is a substantial contribution to the reassessment and expansion of the modernist fiction canon.