When Ihab Hassan asks the question, “What does it mean for humanists to dream?,”1 the answer seems less important than the question, which implies that humanism is deep in slumber, or that it has entered the realm of fantasy. For many novelists, and for many readers, this is clearly the case; Harold Bloom believes, for example, that the durability of literature over time is attributable to factors opposed to those of social or moral advocacy, factors of genius and of strangeness, the latter being that visionary spin a true artist puts on the mundane world, “reading deeply into the Canon will not make one a better or even a worse person, a more useful or a more harmful citizen.”2 Arthur Saltzman concurs, scorning the sanctimonious conception of literature that permeates the mainstream: “books-that is, the correct books-are depicted as bristling like cut oranges with righteous guidance; their messages are to be plucked, polished, and transported across the ages.”3 Accordingly, Gass, rereading James’s Portrait Of A Lady, focuses on “the very turn and tumble of the sentences themselves,” relieved, apparently, that “there is…no suggestion that one should choose up sides or take to heart his criticism of a certain society nor any invitation to discuss the moral motivations of his characters.”4