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BACHELORS, MANHOOD,
AND THE NOVEL
±  µ °“ ±   µ




Katherine Snyder™s study explores the signi¬cance of the bachelor
narrator, a prevalent but little-recognized ¬gure in pre-modernist
and modernist ¬ction by male authors, including Hawthorne,
James, Conrad, Ford, and Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that
bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold
¬gures who, by crossing the shifting, permeable boundaries of
bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the limits of conventional mas-
culinity. The very marginality of the ¬gure, Snyder argues, e¬ects a
critique of gendered norms of manhood, while the symbolic func-
tion of marriage as a means of plot resolution is also made more
complex by the presence of the single man. Bachelor ¬gures made,
moreover, an ideal narrative device for male authors who them-
selves occupied vexed cultural positions. By attending to the gen-
dered identities and relations at issue in these narratives, Snyder™s
study discloses the aesthetic and political underpinnings of the
traditional canon of English and American male modernism.

Katherine Snyder is Associate Professor of English at the Univer-
sity of California, Berkeley.
MMMMM
BACHEL ORS , MA NHOO D,
AND THE NO VEL
±µ°“±µ

K AT H E RI N E V . S N Y D E R
°µ¬©¤   ° ®¤© ¦  µ®©© ¦ ©¤§
The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom

©¤§ µ®©© °
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK
40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA
477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
Ruiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Dock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa

http://www.cambridge.org

© Cambridge University Press 2004

First published in printed format 1999

ISBN 0-511-03684-1 eBook (Adobe Reader)
ISBN 0-521-65046-1 hardback
Contents




Acknowledgments page vii
Abbreviations x

±
Introduction

± Trouble in paradise: bachelors and bourgeois domesticity ±
°
The trouble with bachelors: an historical overview

Baching it: housing and the question of bachelor domesticity
·
Telling dreams: Donald Grant Mitchell™s Reveries of a Bachelor

 Susceptibility and the single man: the constitution of the

bachelor invalid
Unreliability, ineligibility, invalidism: Wuthering Heights and The Blithedale
·
Romance

Seeing sickness, consuming consciousness: The Portrait of a Lady

 An artist and a bachelor: Henry James, mastery, and the
±°
life of art
±°·
Gender, genre, and the airplane of ¬rst-person narration
±±
˜˜The Lesson of the Master™™ and other vicissitudes of the literary life
Bachelor narration in ˜˜The Aspern Papers™™ and ˜˜The Figure in the
±
Carpet™™

 A way of looking on: bachelor narration in Joseph Conrad™s
±±
Under Western Eyes
±
National loyalty, faithful translation, and betraying narration
±
Double lives, secret sharing, and marriage plotting
Masculine a¬liation, male feminism, and the bachelor™s ˜˜way of
±µ
looking on™™
±±
Veiled spectacles, male fetishism, and the standard of the Medusa™s head



v
Contents
vi
µ The necessary melancholy of bachelors: melancholy,
±·
manhood, and modernist narrative
±·
The bachelor narrator and the ˜˜good uncle™™: Chance and Lord Jim
±
The pendulum of the other man: The Good Soldier and The Great Gatsby

±±
Afterword
±
Notes
µ
Bibliography
·
Index
Acknowledgments




This book, like so many ¬rst books, began life as a doctoral dissertation.
As a graduate student at Yale University, I bene¬ted from the support of
my director, Richard H. Brodhead, and from the input of other mem-
bers of the faculty, including Wayne Koestenbaum, Linda Peterson,
Patricia Meyer Spacks, Robert Stepto, Candace Waid, Bryan Wolf,
Mark Wollaeger, and Ruth Bernard Yeazell. My time in New Haven
was enhanced by the friendship and feedback of Alison Hickey,
Catherine Nickerson, and Susan S. Williams, all of whom remain
sources of encouragement and inspiration. While in graduate school
and since leaving there, I have received advice and support from
colleagues beyond the Yale English department; I would like to mention
here Henry Abelove, Peter Agree, Nancy Armstrong, Carol Bernstein,
Howard Chudaco¬, Peter Gay, Mary Poovey, Catharine Stimpson, and
William Stowe. I have also received invaluable responses to the manu-
script of the book from Jonathan Freedman, Christopher Looby, Victor
Luftig, Joel P¬ster, and Hugh Stevens. This is also the place to o¬er my
thanks to my editor, Ray Ryan, for shepherding this project into
publication.
The English Department of the University of California at Berkeley
has provided a rich and rewarding environment in which to develop this
work. I would like to communicate here my appreciation to those who
have read portions of the manuscript as it evolved, advised me on
strategies for writing, and/or o¬ered camaraderie and much needed
diversion. I am particularly grateful to Elizabeth Abel, Janet Adelman,
Anne Ban¬eld, John Bishop, Mitchell Breitwieser, Anne Cheng, Jenny
Franchot, Catherine Gallagher, Steven Goldsmith, Andrew Gri¬en,
Dorothy Hale, Priya Joshi, Je¬rey Knapp, Sharon Marcus, Samuel
Otter, Carolyn Porter, Susan Schweik, and Alex Zwerdling. I have also
gained a good deal from the students at Berkeley, especially the grad-
uate students in my fall ±µ James and Conrad seminar and the
vii
Acknowledgments
viii
members of the ˜˜Nineteenth Century and Beyond™™ discussion group.
Je¬rey Santa Ana and Freya Johnson provided helpful research assist-
ance, and Jeremy Crean carefully proofread the ¬nal draft of the
manuscript and indexed the book. I o¬er here a special thank you to
Kerri Smith, undergraduate research assistant extraordinaire, whose
contributions were vital to the ¬nal stages of manuscript preparation.
I am indebted to the responses of audiences and commentators at the
many academic and professional fora in which I have presented por-
tions of this project, including the Modern Language Association Con-
ference (± and ±); the American Studies Association Conference
(± and ±); the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Con-
ference (±µ and ±); the Annual Meeting of the Organization of
American Historians (±); Narrative, an International Conference
(±µ); the British Comparative Literature Association Conference
(±µ); and the Central New York Conference (±). The ±“·
Fellows of the Townsend Center in the Humanities o¬ered bene¬cial
feedback at a critical juncture. I am grateful for having had the oppor-
tunity to present my work and ideas to students and faculty at Berkeley,
at Wesleyan University where I taught in ±“, and at Bryn Mawr
College where I taught in ±±“.
The dissertation phase of this project was generously supported by
the Mellon Foundation in the Humanities. The University of California
at Berkeley has been very generous in material support, and I would like
to thank here the English Department chairs who have fostered my
work: Frederick Crews, Ralph Rader, and Je¬rey Knapp. This book
would never have been completed without release-time from teaching
made possible by grants from the Humanities Research Fellowship
Program; the Townsend Center in the Humanities; and the Faculty
Development Program. A grant from the Hellman Family Faculty Fund
and a Regents™ Junior Faculty Fellowship also provided welcome ma-
terial aid. I have bene¬ted greatly as well from research assistance made
possible by Research Assistantship in the Humanities Grants; a Junior
Faculty Research Grant; a Faculty Mentor Grant; and several grants
awarded by the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program.
Last but never least, I want to acknowledge dear friends, especially
Erika Milvy and Pearl Solo¬, Jerome and M.D. Buttrick, Rick, Re-
becca, and Olivia Lowe, Adam Grant, and Laura Payne, who have kept
me grounded in life beyond the walls of the academy. For their warmth,
encouragement, and good humor, I o¬er my love and appreciation to
my family: Margaret, Robin, Rebecca, Emily, and Jessica Hamilton,
Acknowledgments ix
and Arthur and Marilyn Snyder. A special thank you to my mother,
Elise W. Snyder, for alternately holding my hand and kicking me in the
pants, and for doing more than I can say here. No words can express my
gratitude to Tim Culvahouse, my husband and my best friend, for being
there for me through it all, for making the bad moments better and the
good ones truly wonderful.
Abbreviations




BR The Blithedale Romance
C Chance
The Complete Tales of Henry James, vols. ©, ©©, and ©
CT
GG The Great Gatsby
GS The Good Soldier
Henry James: Literary Criticism. Vol. ©: Essays on Literature, American
LC±
Writers, and English Writers
Henry James: Literary Criticism. Vol. ©©: French Writers, Other
LC
European Writers, and the Prefaces to the New York Edition
LJ Lord Jim
WH Wuthering Heights




x
°

Introduction




Percival Pollard™s ˜˜The Bachelor in Fiction,™™ a review essay that ap-
peared in The Bookman in ±°°, begins by asserting the relative rarity of
English literature which ˜˜concerns itself directly with bachelors.™™¹ Pol-
lard admits that certain well-known examples of the literature of con-
¬rmed bachelorhood do spring to mind, counting among these Israel
Zangwill™s The Bachelors™ Club, J. M. Barrie™s When A Man™s Single, and the
˜˜famous book™™ of ˜˜Ik Marvel,™™ the ±µ° bestseller Reveries of a Bachelor,
which was apparently so famous that, even in ±°°, its title could be left
unspeci¬ed. But Pollard, in keeping with his persona of the bibliophilic
connoisseur, abjures discussion of these obvious instances: ˜˜My purpose
here is to point not so much to the familiar, famous writings on the state
of single blessedness, but to dally rather with certain volumes which the
general public either forgets or passes by™™ (p. ±). The ensuing cata-
logue brings to light an impressive number of lost or lesser-known
bachelor ¬ctions of the ±°s, including Richard Harding Davis™s Van
Bibber, George Hibbard™s The Governor, F. Hopkinson Smith™s A Day at
Laguerre™s and Colonel Carter of Cartersville, Robert Grant™s A Bachelor™s
Christmas, Edward Sandford Martin™s Windfalls of Observation, Eugene
Field™s The Love A¬airs of a Bibliomaniac, and K. M. C. Meredith™s Green
Gates: An Analysis of Foolishness.
Most of these bachelor books rate only a passing mention, but the last
novel in the series, which Pollard lauds as ˜˜the most captivating story of
bachelordom . . . of recent years™™ (p. ±·), receives fuller treatment.
Pollard™s plot summary of Green Gates details the story of a ˜˜vain,
fastidious, sentimental™™ bachelor of forty who is roused from his inveter-
ate ˜˜thought habit™™ by a sudden and unrequited love for a girl many
years his junior. This ludicrous old bachelor manages to ˜˜become ¬ne
for one moment of his life, at any rate, when he meddles with the girl™s

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