The Fragility of Manhood
Hawthorne, Freud, and the Politics of Gender
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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c o n t e n t s
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... “The Gentle Boy” and Freud’s Theory of Male Homosexuality 40 Narcissism, Shame, Masculinity, and the Dread of the Visual 91 Masculinity, Mastery, and the Returned Gaze of The Blithedale Romance 114 Femininity, Fetishism, and Tradition in “Rappaccini’s Daughter” 141...
Modac k n o w l e d g m e n t s
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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, Mil-licent Bell, Nina Baym, Brenda Wineapple, Fred Newberry, Alison Easton, ...
The Paradox of Desire
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A y o u n g m a n 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. Gradually, he comes to understand that this image is just that, an image, and moreover a reflection of himself. Recognition brings with it neither relief nor release; this self-encounter leads ...
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T h e c h i e f c l a i m 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; the staging of an encounter between a beautiful man and his reflection; the unattainability of this image ...
As His Mother Loved Him
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T o c o m m e n c e 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 the-ory of narcissism, its centrality in Freud’s understanding of male homosex-uality.1 My reading of Hawthorne’s work touches frequently on issues of same-sex desire, but I should make clear at the outset that the chief goal ...
Criticism and the Forms of Narcissism Revising the Oedipal Hawthorne
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I n a d d i t i o n t o reorienting the psychoanalytic treatment of nar-cissism 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 espe-cially. Shaped both by the rise of New Historicism in the 1980s and by the backlash against theory that stems, arguably, from the mid-1990s, Ameri-...
Struck by the Mask
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I n c h a p t e r 2, I suggested that Hawthorne identified with the gen-tle 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. Haw-thorne’s gentle boy provides an enduring template for his representations ...
In a Pig’s Eye
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W i t h i t s 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,” a realm of apparent sexual license in which each member of the utopian community ...
The Gaze in the Garden
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T h o u g h m y 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, the object of innumerable pitiless glares. ...
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.... . . all these marble ghosts. Why should not each statue grow warm with life! Antinous might lift his brow, and tell us why he is forever sad. . . . Bacchus, too, a rosy flush diffusing itself over his time-stained surface, could come down from his pedestal, and offer a cluster of purple grapes to Donatello’s lips; because the god recognizes him as the woodland elf who so often shared his revels. And here, in this sarcophagus, the exquisitely carved figures ...
A Certain Dark Beauty
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I n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r, 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. It is also a racial metaphor. Melville’s famous description of Hawthorne as “shrouded in a ...
The Haunted Verge
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H av i n g b e e n 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 narcis-sism: first, in his aesthetic theory; second, in his idiosyncratic theorization of history. Considering the importance of narcissism to Hawthorne’s aes-thetics takes my effort to rethink and revalue the question of narcissism to ...
n o t e s
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...1. In contrast to Hawthorne, Herman Melville has the mythic figure of Narcissus mak-ing an explicit appearance in the first chapter of Moby-Dick, or The Whale. The main source text for the Narcissus myth is Ovid’s The Metamorphoses, one of the key classical texts for the European-American literary tradition; Hawthorne was familiar with the 1717 transla-tion of the Ovidian Narcissus myth by Joseph Addison. In addition to Ovid’s, the volume ...
b i b l i o g r a p h y
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Abelove, Henry. “Freud, Male Homosexuality, and the Americans.” Dissent 33 (Winter Adamson, Joseph. “Guardian of the ‘Inmost Me’: Hawthorne and Shame.” In Scenes of Shame: Psychoanalysis, Shame, and Writing, edited by Joseph Adamson and Hilary Clark, 53–82. Allen, David W. The Fear of Looking: Or, Scopophilic-Exhibitionistic Conflicts. Charlottesville: Angelides, Steven. “Historicizing Affect, Psychoanalyzing History: Pedophilia and the Dis-...
i n d e x
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Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2012