The Will to Live in William and Henry James

Benjamin Barasch

Columbia University

Benjamin Barasch is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is currently completing his dissertation on vitality as a theme, value, and stylistic feature in American literature and thought from Emerson through Stevens. His academic interests include philosophical aesthetics, American intellectual history and cultural criticism, modern poetry, and the history and theory of music. He is an instructor of Contemporary Civilization, a yearlong sophomore survey of Western political thought, and an undergraduate advisor at the Center for American Studies. His reviews are forthcoming in the Journal of American Studies and Textual Practice.


While William and Henry James have personified for literary history opposite poles of the American mind — the “strenuous life” and the life of consciousness, doing and being, will and passivity, respectively — Barasch... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Benjamin Barasch (Columbia University)

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P10 » Climates of the Will (10:15 - Thursday, 22nd March, Enchantment E)

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