By Martin A. Danahay
Complementing fresh 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 manufactured from 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 existence historical past. The masculine autobiographer achieves this autonomy by utilizing a feminized different as a metaphorical reflect for the self. The feminized different in those texts represents the social fee 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 believe they've got misplaced touch. within the theoretical creation, the writer argues that those texts truly privilege the self reliant self over the pictures of neighborhood they ostensibly price, growing within the approach a self-enclosed and self-referential "community of one."
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Extra info for A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Voloshinov argued that a key confusion in philosophy occurred because of a misuse of the word individual which has two possible meanings; biological specimen or person. The category of the person is not in fact the opposite of the social. ' The 'social' is usually thought of in binary opposition with the 'individual,' and hence we have the notion that the psyche is individual while ideology is social. Notions of that sort are fundamentally false. (Quoted in Morson and Emerson 1990, 2012) This approach suggests that the opposition between the individual and the social that informs nineteenth-century British autobiography was itself a product of ideology.
At Emory I have benefitted from a congenial and stimulating intellectual atmosphere. Jerry Beaty has been willing to share his wisdom both on the subject of the Victorians and of baseball. Our chair, Walter Reed, and the other members of the department in various ways have helped to make my existence more pleasant and finishing this book a less daunting task. I have also benefitted from intense and searching discussions with those who participated in my graduate seminars on autobiography and on Victorian representation.
My use of the term community in this study highlights deliberately this nostalgic sense of lost values that haunts nineteenth-century British autobiography. Raymond Williams links this sense of loss to changes in the landscape, but in this study I view it in the context of the loss incurred by the authors' acceptance of the idea of the self's autonomy from the social context. Although they chose to write autobiographical texts, authors from Wordsworth on were increasingly aware that in doing so they tacitly excluded a wider social horizon.
A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Martin A. Danahay