Orienting Masculinity, Orienting Nation

Overview

Although their settings span a wide geographical area, from the South Pacific to India, MaughaM's exotic short stories, novels, and travelogues all, ultimately, focus on the creation of a masculine British identity. In this first book to address MaughaM's fiction in light of recent developments in postcolonial, gender, and cultural theory, Holden argues that MaughaM's work can be understood as an attempt to negotiate between two alternative masculine identities: those of private homosexual and public writer. ...

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Overview

Although their settings span a wide geographical area, from the South Pacific to India, MaughaM's exotic short stories, novels, and travelogues all, ultimately, focus on the creation of a masculine British identity. In this first book to address MaughaM's fiction in light of recent developments in postcolonial, gender, and cultural theory, Holden argues that MaughaM's work can be understood as an attempt to negotiate between two alternative masculine identities: those of private homosexual and public writer. Holden identifies MaughaM's attempts to cultivate a public persona as a writer whose heterosexuality is confirmed through a process of control of language. Furthermore, Holden illuminates the fluidity of language that Maugham, in contrast to his public persona, associated with homosexuality. The basis of this study is the provocative notion that MaughaM's texts, despite their exotic locations, ultimately dramatize a struggle over masculine British identity.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A study of Maugham's novels and short stories set in the East and the South Pacific, analyzing themes in works including The Moon and Sixpence, The Trembling of a Leaf, On a Chinese Screen, The Painted Veil, The Narrow Corner, The Razor's Edge, and the Malayan short stories. For scholars in literature. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

PHILIP HOLDEN is a Lecturer at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Envisioning the Primitive: The Moon and Sixpence 27
2 The Closet of Nostalgia: The Trembling of a Leaf 47
3 The Flaneur Abroad: On a Chinese Screen 63
4 The Empty Sign of The Painted Veil 79
5 Transgression and Containment: The Malayan Short Stories 95
6 The Narrow Corner: Intoxication, Homoeroticism, and the Writing Cure 115
7 Transcending Sexuality: India and The Razor's Edge 131
Conclusion 147
Bibliography 155
Index 165
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