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Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James

  • 2/4/2014 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Location: Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge
  • Event Type: Lecture

Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James"Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James"
What Maisie Knew by Henry James, a lecture by Peter Coviello,
Professor of English, Bowdoin College.

What Maisie Knew, from 1897, is one of the funniest and most sparkling, but also strangest and saddest of the novels of Henry James. In the gorgeous prolix sentences for which the author (especially in this, his later period) was famed, it traces the fate of young Maisie Farange, whose parents divorce and divide custody of her, as she is propelled through a world of rivalry, marital bitterness, and sexual intrigue. It asks again and again: what is a child's love like? And what are the intricacies of loving children? Peter Coviello

Peter Coviello is Professor of English at Bowdoin College, where he has served as Chair of the departments of English, Africana Studies, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. He has written about Walt Whitman, the history of sexuality, queer children, 18th- and 19th-century American literature, Mormon polygamy, stepparenthood, pop music, and much besides. His work has appeared in several books most recently Tomorrow's Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America (NYU 2013) and in a range of quarterlies, as well as in venues like Raritan and Frieze and The Believer. His newest work is called How to Do Things With Joy.