Posting the Male: Masculinities in Post-War and Contemporary British Literature

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Overview

The essays collected in Posting the Male examine representations of masculinity in post-war and contemporary British literature, focussing on the works of writers as diverse as John Osborne, Joe Orton, James Kelman, Ian Rankin, Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Hollinghurst, Ian McEwan, Graham Swift and Jackie Kay. The collection seeks to capture the current historical moment of 'crisis', at which masculinity loses its universal transparency and becomes visible as a performative gender construct. Rather than denoting just one fixed, polarised point on a hierarchised axis of strictly segregated gender binaries, masculinity is revealed to oscillate within a virtually limitless spectrum of gender identities, characterised not by purity and self-containment but by difference and alterity.

As the contributors demonstrate, rather than a gender 'in crisis' millennial manhood is a gender 'in transition'. Patriarchal strategies of man-making are gradually being replaced by less exclusionary patterns of self-identification inspired by feminism. Men have begun to recognise themselves as gendered beings and, as a result, masculinity has been set in motion.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Masculinity in Transition: An Introduction 7
Engendering Rebellion: The Angry Young Man, Class and Masculinity 19
Of Public Libraries and Paperbacks: "Deviant" Masculinity and the Spatial Practices of Reading in Post-War London 35
Hard Nuts to Crack: Devolving Masculinities in Contemporary Scottish Fiction 55
Heroes and Zeroes: Monologism and Masculinism in Scottish Men's Writing of the 1970s and Beyond 69
No Man's Land: Masculinity and Englishness in Graham Swift's Last Orders 89
Enduring McEwan 105
Patriarchy, Male Power and the Psychopath in the Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy 125
Heralding New Possibilities: Female Masculinity in Jackie Kay's Trumpet 141
Alan Hollinghurst and Metropolitan Gay Identities 159
Notes on Contributors 171
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