Henry James's "The Papers" (1903) was among the first works of fiction to identify changing conceptions of intimacy brought about by new communication technologies during the late nineteenth century-a time described by James as "the age of interviewing." This essay's consideration of the interview as a model for supposedly intimate conversation reveals how the public's desire to appear in newsprint ultimately poses a far more profound problem in James's fiction than does the relatively straightforward defense of privacy against invasive journalists for which James has been credited. Such readings fail to explain James's attention to precisely those characters most interested in reading about other people's private lives or even in having their own private lives read about by others, a problem best assessed in terms of interpersonal relationships. What "The Papers" designates as "the unspoken" between the two journalists, Maud Blandy and Howard Bight, might instead be taken to express the story's conception of intimacy as a form of speechlessness defined in opposition to the confessional voice of the interview. A number of conversations involving unspoken intimacy suggest that the lesson of "The Papers" is that intimacy with people we do not know is far easier to establish than intimacy with people we do know.
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