Eric Haralson examines the far-reaching adjustments in gender politics and the emergence of recent male homosexuality in writings of Henry James and 3 authors significantly encouraged via him: Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. Emphasizing American masculinity portrayed in fiction among 1875 and 1935, Haralson strains James' engagement with sexual politics from his first novels of the 1870s to his "major part" on the flip of the century.
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Extra resources for Henry James and Queer Modernity (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
Even though Wilde, notoriously “ﬂamboyant,” could develop into the default ﬁgure for this meant cue to sexual id, his literary cousins are a number of, in part simply because, as Byrne Fone notes, the “outlandish and unique” queer captivated the lens of heterosexual society whereas different, much less demonstrative homosexual males easily (and frequently tactically) eluded it (GL 629). Fone is talking of 38 Henry James and Queer Modernity the restricting case of the drag queen, as in McAlmon’s tale “Miss Knight,” therefore emphasizing that the factors (or at the very least the imputed reasons) for such unique self-display and for the ﬁctional overrepresentation of the highvisibility queer have been complicated and interactive. simply as omit Knight’s “shriek” (quoted above) opposed to the dangerous structures and constrictions of the sex/gender procedure strives to wreck “the rigidity of ennui,” so, too, does the voyeuristic slumming of McAlmon and his readers for whom s/he is the focal ﬁgure (GL 630). to talk extra greatly, this representational perform and the viewers it either inscribes and draws rely on the outrageous ´elan of contemporary sexual polymorphy to wrestle the pervasive temper of hysteria and tedium that's created, in huge degree, accurately through the abjection or ghettoization of the irregular. one other worry this is that even if theatricality promised to render male selfhood extra labile and contingent, and therefore to open up new chances of emotional reaction and social functionality, it additionally aligned these males who have been so proficient (or probably so cursed) with the so-called histrionic intercourse, girls. For James, as for different male authors of the time, ladies have been seen as obviously tailored to appearing, and within the current novel, the embodiment of this concept is Christina gentle, who can by no means “forego doing the article dramatically” (RH 205). this sort of paramount “actress” will reappear in James in such diverse guises as Baroness Eugenia M¨unster within the Europeans, Miriam Rooth within the Tragic Muse, and Madame de Vionnet, the enchantress of The Ambassadors (“polyglot as a bit Jewess . . . [she had] made a fresh sweep . . . of each ‘part’ . . . within the curtained costumed university repertory”; A 138). by means of an analogous token, as James later urged, any organization with performing, the “most self-exhibitional of trades,” threatened to feminize males (in the worst feel) via making them “as useless and jealous and sensitive” as girls have been by way of “nature” (LL 507). Roderick Hudson, in different phrases, already previews the male artist (or artist-type) who appropriates femininity as “emblematic of the modern,” as Rita Felski says, inasmuch as femininity, reﬁgured by way of commodity tradition, more and more “epitomiz[ed] artiﬁce instead of authenticity,” or the manly, honest “voice of the center. ”21 Roderick’s personal voice is usually vital right here, even though like his theatricality, nor is it but the loaded social and literary signiﬁer it's going to develop into, because it steadily collected signiﬁcance during textual-historical improvement. while Mallet at ﬁrst needs to be “contented .