The Fragility of Manhood
Hawthorne, Freud, and the Politics of Gender
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
Title Page, Copyright
It took more than one Hawthorne conference to turn me into the author of this book. Numerous scholars have nurtured and emboldened my work on Hawthorne. While many deserve acknowledgment here, I especially want to thank, for early and generous encouragement, Robert K. Martin, Millicent Bell, Nina Baym, ...
Introduction: The Paradox of Desire
A young man stares into a pool and sees his own reflection. At first, his reflection appears to be another person, endowed with great beauty. Enflamed with desire, the young man reaches out to the image in the pool, which dissolves at his touch. ...
1. Paradise Lost: Hawthorne’s Traumatic Narcissism
The chief claim of this book is that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work consistently evokes the core themes of the Narcissus myth: a beautiful young man whose beauty incites desire from both females and other males and whose cruel rejection of those in whom he has inflamed desire inflames a desire for vengeance in them; ...
2. As His Mother Loved Him: “The Gentle Boy” and Freud’s Theory of Male Homosexuality
To commence our exploration of the intersection of Freudian theories of narcissistic male sexuality and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fiction, I begin with a discussion of the most difficult aspect of Freud’s theory of narcissism, its centrality in Freud’s understanding of male homosexuality.1 ...
3. Revising the Oedipal Hawthorne: Criticism and the Forms of Narcissism
In addition to reorienting the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissism and homosexuality, one of the chief goals of this book is to demonstrate why psychoanalytic theory, albeit significantly revised, remains useful for questions of gender and sexuality, male embodiments of both especially. ...
4. Struck by the Mask: Narcissism, Shame, Masculinity, and the Dread of the Visual
In chapter 2, I suggested that Hawthorne identified with the gentle boy, an identification that stems from his experience of shame. It is important to establish the cultural as well as psychological contexts for why Hawthorne may have associated shame with the feminine beauty of his Narcissus-like males, a quality that he personally embodied. ...
5. In a Pig’s Eye: Masculinity, Mastery, and the Returned Gaze of The Blithedale Romance
With its erotic themes, obsession with law and conformity, and fascination with their psychic effects, Hawthorne’s work provides an interesting opportunity to consider the ways in which narcissism and voyeurism imbricate one another. In Hawthorne’s 1852 novel The Blithedale Romance, both modes coalesce in Blithedale’s “amorous New World,” ...
6. The Gaze in the Garden: Femininity, Fetishism, and Tradition in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”
Though my focus has thus far been on Hawthorne’s representation of manhood, narcissism, especially in its anguished aspects, also informs Hawthorne’s considerable interest in the representation of women, a set of issues that demand a discrete study. No more harrowing and exact transmutation of Hawthorne’s anguish over vision exists than the spectacle of Hester Prynne on the scaffold, ...
7. Visual Identity: Hawthorne, Melville, and Classical Male Beauty
In the previous chapter, I began to explore homoerotic Hellenism and its significance to Hawthorne’s work. This topic will be central to chapter 7 along with a comparison that has been hovering, with a certain persistence, as a possibility over my critical narrative. ...
8. A Certain Dark Beauty: Narcissism, Form, and Race in Hawthorne’s Late Work
In the previous chapter, I considered the overlaps between Hawthorne’s and Herman Melville’s treatments of classical male beauty. In this chapter, I will consider a theme that has lurked throughout this study as well as Hawthorne’s work. The darkness of Hawthorne’s young American men is a gender metaphor and a sexual metaphor. ...
9. The Haunted Verge: Aesthetics, Desire, History
Having been absorbed throughout this book with questions of gender and sexuality, I want to take the opportunity provided by the epilogue to consider other ways in which Hawthorne thematized narcissism: first, in his aesthetic theory; second, in his idiosyncratic theorization of history. ...
Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 868219896
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