Download A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in by Martin A. Danahay PDF

By Martin A. Danahay

Complementing contemporary feminist experiences of woman self-representation, this e-book examines the dynamics of masculine self-representation in nineteenth-century British literature. Arguing that the class "autobiography" was once a fabricated 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 lifestyles heritage. The masculine autobiographer achieves this autonomy through the use of 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 girl fans and relations as symbols for the neighborhood with which they consider they've got misplaced touch. within the theoretical advent, the writer argues that those texts really privilege the independent self over the pictures of group they ostensibly worth, growing within the strategy a self-enclosed and self-referential "community of one."

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Extra resources for A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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Tönnies wishes to reverse the "process of the formation of society and the destruction of community," halting the "development" from the older into the newer form: Through this development the "individualism" which is the prerequisite of society comes to its own. However, the possibility of overcoming this individualism and arriving at a reconstruction of community exists. (166) Tönnies proposes that the development of nineteenth-century individualism can be thrown into reverse in a return to a more "communal" age.

A child of the suburbs, Ruskin turns to nature as a way of preserving values he sees as threatened by industrialization and urbanization. " Like Wordsworth, Ruskin used landscape as a way of talking about community, but his idea of the natural repudiated the basis of even his own experience. Like Wordsworth he finds himself reacting against the transformation of the landscape and idealizing a preindustrial rural community. Ruskin's ideal becomes a rural landscape, and a rural community, that no longer exists.

6 The addition of this word to the English language in the 1790s was a momentous occasion in intellectual history, indicating one of those shifts in outlook that are often sensed but seldom adequately described. In this study I define this distinctive form of subjectivity that led to the creation of the term autobiography in terms of the dialectic between autonomy and community. Autobiography formalized the existence of the nineteenth-century subject, a subject who inhabited the liminal space between the competing dualisms of the individual and the social.

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