By Martin A. Danahay
Complementing contemporary feminist experiences 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 replicate for the self. The feminized different in those texts represents the social rate 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 fanatics and family as symbols for the neighborhood with which they consider they've got misplaced touch. within the theoretical creation, the writer argues that those texts truly privilege the self sustaining self over the pictures of group they ostensibly worth, developing within the method a self-enclosed and self-referential "community of one."
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Additional info for A Community of One: Masculine Autobiography and Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain
As Du Pont and Rousseau show, individualism as a philosophy developed more quickly in France than in England. The French word autobiographie and the first autobiography in French, Rousseau's Confessions in 1782, predate the use of the term in English and the composition of Wordsworth's Prelude by fifteen years. 9 The same transformation took place in England as in France, but occurred later. When it did occur, this transformation was deeply marked from its inception by a conservative reaction against the French Revolution in particular and social upheaval in general.
As both Williams and Bakhtin indicate in their remarks, the history of autobiography in the nineteenth century is bound up with the urbanization and industrialization of the British landscape. By 1860 England had become an urban society, with more than half of its inhabitants living in the cities or their suburbs. The initial reaction against cities recorded in the Wordsworth's The Prelude had been replaced by the image of the suburbs and an attitude toward the country that viewed it in terms more of leisure than of agricultural production (Bermingham 1986, 157).
Autobiography Men authors. I. Title. II. Series. 9'008dc20 [B] 92-38402 CIP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Page v But man is a true narcissus: he makes the whole world his mirror. (Goethe 1971, 50) Page vii Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 A Room of His Own: The Masculine Subject of British Autobiography 1 Autonomy and Community in Nineteenth-Century British Autobiography 11 From Community to Society: Ferdinand Tönnies and Victorian Subjectivity 20 Inner and Outer in Autobiography 26 Chapter One Autobiography and the Loss of Community: From Augustine's Confessions to Wordsworth's The Prelude 39 Chapter Two The Liminal Subject of Romantic Autobiography 67 Chapter Three Romantic Anti-Autobiography and Repression 93 Chapter Four From Romantic to Victorian Autobiography 117 Ruskin, Tennyson, and the Loss of Nature 117 "A Profound Duplicity of Life": Repression and the Split Subject of Victorian Autobiography 135 Page viii Chapter Five Subjected Autonomy in Victorian Autobiography: John Stuart Mill and Edmund Gosse 147 Chapter Six "Dialogue of the Mind with Itself": Matthew Arnold and Monologism 171 Conclusion Virginia Woolf and the Prison of Consciousness 203 Works Cited 215 Index 227 Page ix Acknowledgments If I were to follow the usual academic paradigms, one person would have to be cited throughout this text.
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