Bachelors, Manhood, and the Novel, 1850-1925

Synopsis

Katherine Snyder's study explores the significance of the bachelor narrator, a prevalent but little recognized figure in premodernist and modernist fiction by male authors, including Hawthorne, James, Conrad, Ford, and Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold figures who, by crossing the shifting, permeable boundaries of bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the limits of conventional masculinity. By attending to the gendered identities and relations at issue in these narratives, Snyder's study discloses the aesthetic and political underpinnings of the traditional canon of English and American modernism.