A Man's Game: Masculinity and the Anti-Aesthetics of by John Dudley

By John Dudley

Demonstrates how techniques of masculinity formed the cultured foundations of literary naturalism.

A Man's Game explores the advance of yank literary naturalism because it pertains to definitions of manhood in lots of of the movement's key texts and the cultured ambitions of writers similar to Stephen Crane, Jack London, Frank Norris, Edith Wharton, Charles Chestnutt, and James Weldon Johnson. John Dudley argues that during the weather of the past due nineteenth century, whilst those authors have been penning their significant works, literary endeavors have been largely seen as frivolous, the paintings of girls for women, who comprised the majority of the responsible interpreting public. Male writers similar to Crane and Norris outlined themselves and their paintings not like this conception of literature. ladies like Wharton, nonetheless, wrote out of a skeptical or antagonistic response to the expectancies of them as lady writers.

Dudley explores a few social, ancient, and cultural advancements that catalyzed the masculine impulse underlying literary naturalism: the increase of spectator activities and masculine athleticism; the pro position of the journalist, followed through many male writers, letting them camouflage their fundamental position as artist; and post-Darwinian curiosity within the sexual part of typical selection. A Man's video game also explores the striking adoption of a masculine literary naturalism through African-American writers initially of the 20 th century, a technique, regardless of naturalism's emphasis on heredity and genetic determinism, that helped outline the black fight for racial equality.

 

 

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Additional info for A Man's Game: Masculinity and the Anti-Aesthetics of American Literary Naturalism (Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism)

Sample text

Like many successful prize¤ghters before him, Sullivan was an Irish American whose family formed part of the massive wave of immigration from Ireland and Eastern Europe during the nineteenth century. The illicit sport of prize¤ghting had thrived in the emerging urban landscape of saloons and tenements, and as concerns for the feminization of American culture arose during the 1880s, the stage was set for prize¤ghting’s shift from the backrooms of saloons to a more public arena. One of the dominant centers of pugilism in this period, New Orleans, played host to the two ¤nal bouts of Sullivan’s storied career, and a comparison of these events illustrates the shifting nature of the sport in the 1890s.

20 London writes: He was twenty, she eighteen, boy and girl, the pair of them, and made for progeny, healthy and normal, with steady blood pounding through their bodies; and wherever they went together, even on Sunday outings across the bay amongst people who did not know him, eyes were continually drawn to them. He matched her girl’s beauty with his boy’s beauty, her grace with his strength, her delicacy of line and ¤bre with the harsher vigor and muscle of the male. ” (79) Genevieve and Joe are each the object of the other’s loving gaze, but they are also, together and separately, on display for the world to see.

I can form no guess as to what his appearance should be. Can you? Imagine the Mongolian and African types merged into one. He should have the ®at nose, and yet the almond eye; the thick lip, and yet the high cheek bone; but how as to his hair? Should it be short and crinkly, or long and straight, or merely wavy? But the ideas of the man, his bias, his prejudices, his conception of things, his thoughts—what a jumble, what an amorphous, formless mist! (98–99) In this passage Norris reveals not only the linkage between the physical and intellectual characteristics of race, but also the spectacle provided by the “queer” offspring of interracial couplings.

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