Gothic Masculinity: Effeminacy and the Supernatural in English and German Romanticism

By Ellen Brinks | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, ed. W. S. Lewis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 65.

2. As telling is Conrad's situation. Representing an unconventional, effeminate masculinity encoded as his inappropriateness for marriage, his sickliness, and his incapacity to meet the expectations of an ambitious father, in the premier scene of the novel Conrad is crushed to death by Alfonso's gigantic helmet.

3. Eve K. Sedgwick's chapter on the gothic in Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire was the first to consider the gothic's associations with male homosexuality, by force of its foremost writers — Horace Walpole, William Beckford, and Matthew Lewis—being openly or indirectly reputed to be homosexuals, and to the homophobic mechanisms in the gothic novel (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985). For further connections between the gothic and explorations of male homosexuality, see George Haggerty's “Literature and Homosexuality in the Late Eighteenth Century: Walpole, Beckford, Lewis,” Studies in the Novel 18 (1986): 341–52. According to Andrew Elfenbein, the gothic is “one much-investigated genre in studies of gender and sexuality,' yet full-length studies have been predominantly restricted to female gender roles and sexuality. See Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999). In Art of Darkness: A Poetics of the Gothic, Anne Williams defines the “male gothic” as highly attuned to the dangers threatening patriarchal property and violations of class boundaries, and hence, as a conservative genre (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). Cyndy Hendershot's recent study of gothic masculinity is the most comprehensive to date, focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as film. Hendershot presents a theory of the gothic where a fluid or ambigious “one-sex body” emerges as a response to anxiety generated by the binary model of sexuality that arose in the eighteenth century. See The Animal Within: Masculinity and the Gothic (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998).

4. Henry Abelove points to the overarching social changes in male-female gender relations, a narrowing of acceptable sexual behaviors, an increased importance awarded to penetrative sex, domestic values, and the nuclear family, and an imperative to reproduce in “Some Speculations on the History of 'Sexual Intercourse' During the 'Long Eighteenth Century' in England,” in Nationalisms and Sexualities, ed. Andrew Parker (New York: Routledge, 1992), 337.

5. George Haggerty argues in Men in Love that the eighteenth century offered a number of such tropes as melancholy and friendship, but he neglects to mention how the “fantastic” discourses of the gothic work against naturalizing and accommodating tendencies (123). Leo Bersani's work on both masochism and the repudiation of phallic masculinity (as it emerges in fantasies of assuming the receptive position in anal sex),

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Gothic Masculinity: Effeminacy and the Supernatural in English and German Romanticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture 2
  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Acknowledgments 7
  • Introduction 11
  • 1: Hegel Possessed 24
  • 2: The Male Romantic Poet as Gothic Subject 49
  • 3: Sharing Gothic Secrets 68
  • 4: “This Dream It Would Not Pass Away” 91
  • 5: The Gothic Romance of Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess 113
  • Notes 144
  • Selected Bibliography 198
  • Index 213
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