A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in - download pdf or read online

By Martin A. Danahay

ISBN-10: 0585091455

ISBN-13: 9780585091457

ISBN-10: 0791415112

ISBN-13: 9780791415115

ISBN-10: 0791415120

ISBN-13: 9780791415122

Complementing fresh feminist stories of woman self-representation, this e-book examines the dynamics of masculine self-representation in nineteenth-century British literature. Arguing that the class "autobiography" used to be a fabricated from nineteenth-century individualism, the writer analyzes the dependence of the nineteenth-century masculine topic on autonomy or self-naming because the prerequisite for the composition of a lifestyles background. The masculine autobiographer achieves this autonomy through the use of a feminized different as a metaphorical replicate for the self. The feminized different in those texts represents the social expense of masculine autobiography. Authors from Wordsworth to Arnold, together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, John Ruskin, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Stuart Mill, and Edmund Gosse, use woman fans and kin as symbols for the group with which they suppose they've got misplaced touch. within the theoretical advent, the writer argues that those texts truly privilege the self sustaining self over the pictures of group they ostensibly worth, developing within the technique a self-enclosed and self-referential "community of one."

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The roles of domestic servants and of a housekeeper or wife are thus assumed as the prerequisite for this way of life but not represented as part of the canvas. Feminine labor is separated from the masculine work of writing depicted in the canvas. Reade's books are disorderly, heaped upon tables and chairs as mute testimony to creative, intellectual labor, while the rest of the house is neat and orderly. The female presence is not completely repressed in this painting, however; sitting watching Reade at work is a domestic pet, a dog, while a cat sleeps in the lower left corner.

Arnold's position demonstrates the contradictory motives that inform nineteenth-century British autobiography. Page 5 Furthermore, his phrase dialogue of the mind with itself provides a key for the analysis of the dynamics of Victorian subjectivity. Arnold seems to be arguing for what M. M. Bakhtin characterized as the "dialogic" imagination, an imagination that actively addresses its social milieu and reflects in its language the social conflicts of its day. Bakhtin contrasts the "polyglossia" and "semantic openendedness" of dialogic forms such as the novel with the impulse toward "monoglossia'' in other genres, particularly highly conventional poetry (Bakhtin 1985, 284).

Voloshinov argued that a key confusion in philosophy occurred because of a misuse of the word individual which has two possible meanings; biological specimen or person. The category of the person is not in fact the opposite of the social. ' The 'social' is usually thought of in binary opposition with the 'individual,' and hence we have the notion that the psyche is individual while ideology is social. Notions of that sort are fundamentally false. (Quoted in Morson and Emerson 1990, 2012) This approach suggests that the opposition between the individual and the social that informs nineteenth-century British autobiography was itself a product of ideology.

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A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Martin A. Danahay

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