By Martin A. Danahay
Complementing contemporary feminist reports of lady self-representation, this booklet examines the dynamics of masculine self-representation in nineteenth-century British literature. Arguing that the class "autobiography" was once a made of 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 historical past. 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 consider they've got misplaced touch. within the theoretical creation, the writer argues that those texts truly privilege the independent self over the pictures of neighborhood they ostensibly worth, growing within the technique a self-enclosed and self-referential "community of one."
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Additional info for A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain
The social context of his work is replaced by the domestic setting, which itself is taken to be separate from other public forms of labor. Similarly, in the textual selfrepresentations analyzed in this book, the male authors represent themselves as autonomous and implicitly repress the social context of their labor. Masculine authors represent themselves, in other words, as autonomous individuals. Such representations of autonomy have been characterized by Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction as part of the bourgeois "denial of the social" (Bourdieu 1984, 11).
Spariosu, editor Page iii A Community of One Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain Martin A. Danahay State University of New York Press Page iv Cover photo of Charles Reade in His Study appears by courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London Published by State University of New York Press, Albany © 1993 State University of New York All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
It was not possible for her to construct her identity as an autonomous individual in the same way as Mill. I had no table even to myself, much less a room to work in, but sat at the corner of the family table with my writing-book, with everything going on as if I had been making a shirt instead of writing a bookand I took my share in the conversation, going on all the same with my story. (Oliphant 1988, 2324) Oliphant gives an image here of writing as a social activity. This image presents a stark contrast with Charles Reade in His Study, where writing is a completely solitary activity.