Masculinity and Place in American Literature since 1950

Author:   Vidya Ravi
Publisher:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498587327


Pages:   172
Publication Date:   24 May 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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Masculinity and Place in American Literature since 1950


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Overview

American literature has long celebrated the figure of the self-made man and the idea of establishing selfhood, particularly male selfhood, in nature. However, during the crisis of masculinity that swept across America in the middle of the twentieth century, a generation of writers started exploring a different kind of a man. This was a figure who was concerned not so much with the loss of the West or the desire to recover a wilderness, but with how to live in an ordinary, domesticated continent. Masculinity and Place in American Literature since 1950 explores the role of place in negotiating, reinforcing, and subverting articulations of hegemonic masculinity in the work of four American writers from the latter part of the 20th century-John Cheever, John Updike, Raymond Carver, and Richard Ford. The book argues that American fiction by white male writers between the 1950s and the present day is compelled by the troubled and troubling relationship between masculinity and place. This relationship is deeply embedded in how ideals of masculinity are predicated upon the experience of the physical world, and how the symbolic logic of masculinity is continually subverted by alternative conceptions of dwelling and ecological consciousness.

Full Product Details

Author:   Vidya Ravi
Publisher:   Lexington Books
Imprint:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498587327


ISBN 10:   1498587321
Pages:   172
Publication Date:   24 May 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1.Introduction: Nature Men of Twentieth-Century America 2.The Ruined Paradise: John Cheever's Gendered Nostalgia 3.The Man of the House: John Updike and the Homestead 4.Thresholds of Thought: Disembodied Sexuality in Carver Country 5.The Fall of Frontier Dreams: Failed Fathers and Absent Sons in Richard Ford's Fiction 6.Conclusion Bibliography Index About the Author

Reviews

This is a terrific study-an illuminating account of how some of the major figures of American literature rethink and move beyond the cliches of American masculinity. Ravi shows how Richard Ford and others recoil from macho gesture and resist the pull of the wilderness, imagining new ways of dwelling in the world at hand. This throws a new and timely perspective on the discussions of toxic masculinity and heteronormative assumption following in the wake of #MeToo. -- Andrew Warnes, Professor of American Studies, University of Leeds With wit and style, Vidya Ravi explores an enduring figure in American literature: the white suburban nature man. Considering the diverse fictional landscapes of John Updike, John Cheever, Richard Ford and Raymond Carver, she offers a fresh and revealing reading of contested masculinity. -- Kasia Boddy, Cambridge University


Author Information

Vidya Ravi is independent scholar based in Switzerland.

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