Addressing the history and politics of emotion in prevailing narratives about masculinity.
We take for granted the idea that white, middle-class, straight masculinity connotes total control of emotions, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That men repress their feelings as they seek their fortunes in the competitive worlds of business and politics seems to be a given. This collection of essays by prominent literary and cultural critics rethinks such commonly held views by addressing the history and politics of emotion in prevailing narratives about masculinity. How did the story of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of straight, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake existing forms of power or reinforce them? This collection forcefully challenges our most entrenched ideas about male emotion. Through readings of works by Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of twentieth century authors such as Hemingway and Kerouac, this book questions the persistence of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional release.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 (22)
What Feels an American?
Evident Selves and Alienable Emotions in 23 (21)
the New Man's World
Loving with a Vengeance
Wieland, Familicide and the Crisis of 44 (20)
Masculinity in the Early Nation
``The Manliest Relations to Men''
Thoreau on Privacy, Intimacy, and Writing 64 (24)
Men's Elegies for Children in 88 (18)
How to be a (Sentimental) Race Man: Mourning 106 (79)
and Passing in W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls
of Black Folk
The Law of the Heart
Emotional Injury and Its Fictions 124 (17)
``The Sort of Thing You Should Not Admit''
Hemingway's Aesthetics of Emotional 141 (26)
Rereading Kerouac's Midcentury Melodrama of 167 (18)
Men's Tears and the Roles of Melodrama 185 (70)
Men's Liberation, Men's Wounds
Emotion, Sexuality, and the Reconstruction 205 (25)
of Masculinity in the 1970s
The Politics of Feeling
Men, Masculinity, and Mourning on the 230 (25)
Bibliography 255 (22)