Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and the Biographical Act

University of North Carolina Press, 1996

Caramello argues that James and Stein performed biographical acts in two sense of the phrase: they wrote biography, but as a cover for autobiography. Constructing literary genealogies while creating original literary forms, they used their biographical portraits of precursors and contemporaries to portray themselves as exemplary modern artists. In doing so, they actually became exemplars, and Caramello advances his argumetn through close readings of four works that explore themes of artistry and influence and that experiment with forms of biographical portraiture.