Bachelors, Manhood, and the Novel, 1850-1925

Overview

Katherine Snyder's study explores the significance of the bachelor narrator, a prevalent but little recognized figure in premodernist and modernist fiction by male authors, including Hawthorne, James, Conrad, Ford, and, Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold figures who, by crossing the shifting, permeable boundaries of bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the limits of conventional masculinity. The very marginality of the figure, Snyder argues, ...
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Overview

Katherine Snyder's study explores the significance of the bachelor narrator, a prevalent but little recognized figure in premodernist and modernist fiction by male authors, including Hawthorne, James, Conrad, Ford, and, Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold figures who, by crossing the shifting, permeable boundaries of bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the limits of conventional masculinity. The very marginality of the figure, Snyder argues, effects a critique of gendered norms of manhood, while the symbolic function of marriage as a means of plot resolution is also made more complex by the presence of the single man. Bachelor figures made, moreover, an ideal narrative device for male authors who themselves occupied vexed cultural positions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Snyder is a subtle and exacting reader, whose analysis offers a newly emphatic and sustained gendering of familiar structures of modernist narration." Journal of English and Germanic Philology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521100960
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2009
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Trouble in paradise: bachelors and bourgeois domesticity 18
The trouble with bachelors: an historical overview 20
Baching it: housing and the question of bachelor domesticity 34
Telling dreams: Donald Grant Mitchell's Reveries of a Bachelor 47
2 Susceptibility and the single man: the constitution of the bachelor invalid 64
Unreliability, ineligibility, invalidism: Wuthering Heights and The Blithedale Romance 67
Seeing sickness, consuming consciousness: The Portrait of a Lady 84
3 An artist and a bachelor: Henry James, mastery, and the life of art 104
Gender, genre, and the airplane of first-person narration 107
"The Lesson of the Master" and other vicissitudes of the literary life 119
Bachelor narration in "The Aspern Papers" and "The Figure in the Carpet" 129
4 A way of looking on: bachelor narration in Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes 141
National loyalty, faithful translation, and betraying narration 144
Double lives, secret sharing, and marriage plotting 148
Masculine affiliation, male feminism, and the bachelor's "way of looking on" 156
Veiled spectacles, male fetishism, and the standard of the Medusa's head 161
5 The necessary melancholy of bachelors: melancholy, manhood, and modernist narrative 172
The bachelor narrator and the "good uncle": Chance and Lord Jim 176
The pendulum of the other man: The Good Soldier and The Great Catsby 189
Afterword 211
Notes 214
Bibliography 258
Index 279
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