Strange Bodies: Gender and Identity in the Novels of Carson McCullers

By Sarah Gleeson-White | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. This is McCullers's observation in “The Russian Realists and Southern Literature” (Mortgaged Heart 258) and “The Flowering Dream: Notes on Writing” (Mortgaged He art 287). For examples of similar approaches to the grotesque, see Phillips, “Gothic Architecture”; Rechnitz; Millichap, “Distorted Matter”; Nagpal; Kestler.

2. Further references to these works will appear as H, R, M, and B, respectively. I do not consider McCullers's final novel, Clock Without Hands; although it deals with homosexuality to some extent, its concerns lie primarily with issues of race and historical memory. However, the model of reading used throughout this study to explore gendered identity is equally useful for future readings not only of race but also of class, both serious concerns in McCullers's work. Also, because I am chiefly concerned with McCullers's novels, her poetry, short stories, and plays will only be referred to in passing.

3. In her bibliographic study James lists those commentaries on McCullers published in the 1990s: Carr's monograph Understanding Carson McCullers and several articles: Chamlee; McBride; Champion; Kissel; Taetzsch; J. Whitt; Stafford; Vande Kieft; and Budick, as well as Clark and Friedman, which appeared while James's monograph was in press. However, the majority of the essays in Clark and Friedman's book have appeared previously, although the following three essays were written specifically for their collection: Paulson; T. Davis; and Kenschaft.

4. Carr's notion of alienation recalls Anderson's “Book of the Grotesque” in Winesburg, Ohio.

5. See Baldanza (for a rather quirky account of Platonic love in McCullers's

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