Impressionism, a magic word that conjures visions of the fresh, true and beautiful in art, has come to bear meanings it did not possess for writers and painters when the movement was alive. For Conrad as for James, impressionism was very different from what it became, for instance, in 1932 when Joseph Warren Beach classified Conrad as an impressionist. While both Conrad and James would have accepted the Impressionist painters’ principle that a true artist deals only with accurate sense perception, rejecting academic rules and fixed conceptions, both novelists found the Impressionist painters and writers who followed them (like Maupassant and Crane) to be deficient in one important respect: they rejected depth ‘analysis’ and the probing of hidden human ‘mysteries’.
KeywordsPersonal Remembrance Magic Word Translation Mine Academic Rule Early Stand
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