Leo Bersani's 1976 A Future for Astyanax: Character and Desire in Literature was, at the time of its publication, a pathbreaking work of literary criticism and theory. The book as a whole, and Bersani's chapter "The Jamesian Lie"(originally published in Partisan Review in 1969) in particular, radically altered understandings of the structures of desire in James. A Future for Astyanax helped open up James Studies to sophisticated psychoanalytic analysis and to what was, at the time, called "Theory." In reading James with Racine, Emily Brontë, Stendhal, Histoire d'O, Gide, and Robert Wilson, Bersani defamiliarized the Henry James of American and Victorian Studies. And for thirty-five years, Bersani's work has proved not only influential but also generative, a resource for, among others, deconstructive, psychoanalytic, epistemological, gay, and queer readings of James for critics interested in how power, desire, and knowing intertwine in James's writings.
Marking the thirty-fifth anniversary of A Future for Astyanax, the Fall 2011 forum issue of the Henry James Review will take up the broad and varied subject of Bersani and James and will include an Afterword by Leo Bersani.
Submissions on any aspect of the topic are invited. Contributions should be submitted in duplicate and produced according to MLA style. Please enclose a cover letter identifying your manuscript as a Forum submission. Also include return postage. One-page proposals or short (10-12 pages) essays should be sent by March 1, 2011, to:
Susan M. Griffin, Editor
Henry James Review
Department of English
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292