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Dowell™s imaginary ¬reside tete-a-tete brings us full circle to the imaginary
ˆ `ˆ
hearthside communion of the mid-century bachelor in his reveries.
However ironic Ford™s revision of this scene of domestic intimacy may
be, it nonetheless forges a link to an earlier sentimental tradition in
which the exchange of feelings and words is valued as a source of moral
and spiritual redemption. The high-cultural tradition of canonical male
modernism has roots, albeit disavowed ones, in sentimental traditions of
nineteenth-century ¬ction. Indeed, the redemptive ethos of this earlier
tradition stands as a forerunner of the modernist valuation of the
aesthetic imagination, of words themselves, as a bulwark shored against
the ruins of the twentieth century. To put it another way, the cult of
domesticity retains its salience in an age of transcendental homelessness.
Indeed, its salience may even by intensi¬ed by its imaginary status.
The intersections between the sentimental and the modernist belie
notions of an impermeable divide between highbrow and lowbrow
modes, forms, texts, and authors. The bachelor as a literary ¬gure, and
particularly as ¬gure of narration, reveals the connections among these
supposedly separate spheres. The de¬nitional ambiguity of the ¬gure of
the bachelor confounds critical attempts to distinguish between the
intellectual and emotional vigor of true manhood and the feminized
debility of abjected manhoods, gendered discriminations which are
typically used to draw a cordon sanitaire between classics and trash.
Bachelor narratives are the very stu¬ on which a conservatively
modelled male modernist canon is formed, yet the queer excesses of
bachelor narratives mark the threshold of cultural norms, situating these
¬gures and their ¬ctions at once within and beyond the pale.
In this book, I have attempted to show how the use of bachelor ¬gures
contributed to, but also complicated, the distinctions which have shaped
our inherited notions of literary authorship. Central to my critical
enterprise has been to defamiliarize the bachelor narrator™s gendered
±±
± Bachelors, manhood, and the novel
subject position, to mark what has long stood as an unmarked category.
When Fitzgerald, for example, in an interview with the author of The
Men Who Make Our Novels, commented that The Great Gatsby had been ˜˜an
attempt at form,™™ he rhetorically erased the gendered, bodily, and
political speci¬city of the bachelor as a historical, cultural, and literary
type, and of the bachelor narrator as a site through which gendered
subjectivity is constructed.¹ In claiming a truly impersonal impersonality
for his text, Fitzgerald contributed to the invisibility of the bachelor as
an embodied and gendered source of narrative utterance. And when T.
S. Eliot wrote that Gatsby ˜˜seems to me to be the ¬rst step that American
¬ction has taken since Henry James,™™ and Fitzgerald proudly reported
this compliment in a letter in which he also lamen-
ted the weak sales of his books in comparison with his ˜˜trash,™™ that is,
his money-making magazine stories, their distinctions reinforced the
notion that classics transcend historical speci¬cities of market, taste, and
meaning.²
In challenging these intertwined notions “ that the ¬rst-person mas-
culine singular is a neutral voice, a voice that says ˜˜I™™ e¬ortlessly and
without political rami¬cations, and that classics can be empirically and
apolitically distinguished from trash “ I am participating in a much
larger critical project, or set of projects, concerned to reassess the critical
making and the literary and cultural materials of our academic and
popular canons. In this assumption-challenging project, I am not with-
out assumptions of my own, assumptions which are partly imbedded
within the ideological matrix of the texts and authors I have analyzed.
For instance, my own readings are invested to a certain extent in the
same dialectic of disillusionment and redemption that I disclose in the
modernist and pre-modernist texts I read here. I hope to recuperate
bachelor narrators as ¬gures of alternative masculinity, even while
conscious of the limited potential of such ¬gures for radical political
purposes. For one thing, while there well may be theoretical limits to the
e¬ectiveness of championing any model of masculinity, I am uncon-
vinced that the scuttling of gender is a possible or even a desirable end.
Gender may be a mask, but it is not necessarily one that we can remove;
if it is performative, that does not mean we can choose to stop perform-
ing. Rather, I think our best bet is to rethink and expand the possibilities
of gender: by moving the boundaries to permit a wider compass of
gendered identities and relations and by demonstrating more fully the
permeability of the boundaries as they stand.
Another limit to the potential of the bachelor as a ¬gure of alternative
±
Afterword
masculinity may arise from the bourgeois, individualist contexts “ the
domestic and familial spheres; the novel as a commodity “ within which
the ¬ctional characters that I discuss are constructed and within which I
have situated them. One could well argue that these ¬gures and texts
reinforce gendered and cultural norms as much as they challenge them,
that their containments overshadow their subversions. Aware of the
conservative dimensions of these ¬gures and their narratives, I have
nonetheless chosen to attend to their gendered and cultural counternar-
ratives. Although I am much more skeptical than a James or a Conrad
about the value of art for art™s sake, I ¬nally share their belief that art
does matter, that ˜˜the power of the written word to make you hear, to
make you feel . . . before all, to make you see,™™ as Conrad so powerfully
put it, can make a di¬erence. I believe, with the writers discussed in this
book, in the cultural work that writing can do. These singular ¬ctions of
bachelorhood, a phrase which describes my own project as well as the
texts discussed in this book, do the gendered work of culture in more
than one sense of the phrase, creating new understandings, new imagin-
ings, and new stories of manhood.
Notes



© ®   ¤ µ   © ®
± Percival Pollard, ˜˜The Bachelor in Fiction,™™ The Bookman ±, no.  (October
±°°), ±. Further page references will be given in the body of the text.
 Max Nordau published Degeneration in ±; it was translated into English in
±µ. The founder of the most in¬‚uential forensic psychiatric system in the
nineteenth century, Cesare Lombroso, theorized that the ˜˜criminal type™™
was an atavistic throwback; in The Man of Genius (±; English edn. ±±),
he argued that genius was a form of madness.
 Ian Watt™s The Rise of the Novel (Berkeley: University of California Press, ±µ·)
is generally recognized as a seminal moment in the critical enterprise of
tracing the intertwined histories of the novel, marriage, and bourgeois
domesticity. Other key studies include Raymond Williams, The English Novel
from Dickens to Lawrence (New York: Oxford University Press, ±·°); Sandra
Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and
the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press,
±·); Nancy Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the
Novel (New York: Oxford University Press, ±·); and Joseph Allen Boone,
Tradition Counter Tradition: Love and the Form of Fiction (University of Chicago
Press, ±·). In my view of the novel and domesticity as regulatory practices
and institutions, I am following a well-trodden Foucauldian path, a trail
which has been perhaps most vividly blazed by D. A. Miller, The Novel and
the Police (Berkeley: University of California Press, ±·). I depart from
Miller™s emphasis on the novel™s ideological containments, however, in my
attention to the revisionary and subversive potential of the bachelor nar-
rator, a ¬gure whom I see as intrinsic, not external, to the worlds of the
novel and domesticity.
 This double sense of ˜˜¬gure™™ depends on Barthes™s distinction between
representation “ in which desire circulates within the text “ and ¬guration “
in which desire circulates not only within the text, but also between text and
reader; see The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Richard Miller (New York: Hill and
Wang, ±·µ), p. µ.
µ ˜˜High art™™ and ˜˜modernist art™™ do not constitute identical discursive ¬elds,
but their contiguity and coextensivity in this period is remarkable. For
theoretical and historical accounts of these intersecting cultural formations,
see Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Post-

±
Notes to page  ±µ
modernism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, ±); James Naremore
and Patrick Brantlinger (eds.), Modernity and Mass Culture (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, ±±); Thomas Strychacz, Modernism, Mass Culture,
and Professionalism (Cambridge University Press, ±); and Maria DiBat-
tista, ˜˜Introduction,™™ High and Low Moderns: Literature and Culture, ±“±,
ed. Maria DiBattista and Lucy McDiarmid (Oxford University Press,
±).
 Accounts of the gendering of modernism and of the high/low divide which
I have found particularly useful include Ann Ardis, New Women, New Novels:
Feminism and Early Modernism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press,
±°), and Marianne DeKoven, Rich and Strange: Gender, History, and Modern-
ism (Princeton University Press, ±±).
· Like the ˜˜long eighteenth century,™™ which designates the period in English
history from ± to ±, the ˜˜long nineteenth century™™ has been used by
historians to describe an era extending from the early ±·°s to ±± or ±;
for example, see James Vernon (ed.), Re-reading the Constitution: New Narratives
in the Political History of England™s Long Nineteenth Century (New York: Cam-
bridge University Press, ±).
 This explosion of bachelor discourse was itself part of the dramatic increase
in the production and consumption of printed material in the nineteenth
century, culminating in what has been called the ˜˜Magazine Revolution™™
of the ±°s. It would be naive to think that periodical writings provide a
¨
transparent window onto or a direct in¬‚uence upon the historical scene, but
they nevertheless illuminate the fears, desires, and interests of the era™s
writers, editors, publishers, and readers. I consider them a valuable source
of insight into the attitudes and beliefs that intersected with more material
aspects of cultural change. There is a rapidly growing body of work on
periodical publication; for several examples, see Christopher Wilson, ˜˜The
Rhetoric of Consumption: Mass-Market Magazines and the Demise of the
Gentle Reader, ±°“±°,™™ The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in
American History, ±°“±°, ed. Richard Wightman Fox and T. J. Jackson
Lears (New York: Pantheon, ±); Helen Damon-Moore, Magazines for the
Millions: Gender and Commerce in the Ladies™ Home Journal and the Saturday
Evening Post, ±°“±±° (Albany: State University of New York Press,
±); Matthew Schneirov, The Dream of a New Social Order: Popular Magazines
in America, ±“±± (New York: Columbia University Press, ±); and
Richard Ohmann, Selling Culture: Magazines, Markets, and Class at the Turn of
the Century (London: Verso, ±).
 ˜˜Uneven developments™™ is Mary Poovey™s phrase; see Uneven Developments:
The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England (University of Chicago
Press, ±).
±° ˜˜Gender trouble™™ is the term Judith Butler uses to critique the notion that
¬xed gender identities are grounded in nature, bodies, or in heterosexuality;
see Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge,
±°).
± Notes to pages “·
±± Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: University of
California Press, ±°), p. ±. Sedgwick addresses the ¬gure of the bachelor
in her ±µ English Institute essay, ˜˜The Beast in the Closet: James and the
Writing of Homosexual Panic,™™ reprinted in Epistemology, pp. ±“±.
± See ˜˜Introduction: Axiomatic,™™ in Sedgwick, Epistemology, pp. ±“.
± Sedgwick, Epistemology, p. ±.
± Of course, an attachment to youth also signi¬es within Victorian and
Freudian developmental models of male desire which posit an evolution
from immature homoeroticism to mature heterosexuality. My point is not
that the bachelor™s investment in the girl™s youth is not homosexual or
should not be read as such, but rather that gender di¬erences may be less
salient than other di¬erences or, for that matter, than points of similarity,
between the subject and the object(s) whom he desires.
±µ Jonothan Dollimore, Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, ±±) and Teresa DeLauretis, The Practice of Love:
Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
±) who have elucidated the political and poetic activity of so-called
˜˜deviance™™ and ˜˜perversity™™ within cultural norms. For an account of the
theortical bene¬ts and pitfalls of a poetics and politics of the perverse, see
Joseph Allen Boone, Libidinal Currents: Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism
(University of Chicago Press, ±), a brilliant study which I encountered
just as my own book was going to press.
± On the permeability of the boundaries between modernist and non-mod-
ernist writing, see Raymond Williams, ˜˜Beyond Cambridge English™™ in
Writing in Society (London: Verso, ±µ) and ˜˜Distance™™ in What I Came To
Say (London: Hutchinson, ±); Louis Menand, Discovering Modernism: T. S.
Eliot and His Context (Oxford University Press, ±·); Thomas Strychacz,
Modernism, Professionalism, and Mass Culture; and Bruce Robbins, Secular Voca-
tions: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (London: Verso, ±).
±· In ˜˜Melodramas of Beset Manhood: How Theories of American Fiction
Exclude Women Authors,™™ American Quarterly , no.  (Summer ±±), Nina
Baym describes the canon-making practices of twentieth-century male New
Critics who portrayed nineteenth-century male writers as beleaguered by a
mass market for ¬ction dominated by female writers and readers. Baym
exempts writers such as Howells and James from the sexist bias of the New
Critical champions of male writers, yet many nineteenth-century male
writers, including James, are aptly described by Baym™s paradigm.
± For a seminal account of melodrama, from which has developed a rich body
of work in feminist, queer, and ¬lm theory, see Peter Brooks, The Melodram-
atic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess (±·;
New Haven: Yale University Press, ±µ).
± The governess is a comparable threshold ¬gure who marks by transgressing
the classed, gendered, and sexual boundaries of the nuclear family, and also
of bourgeois femininity. For readings of the ¬gure of the governess which
bring out these issues, see Jane Gallop, The Daughter™s Seduction: Feminism and
Notes to pages ·“± ±·
Psychoanalysis (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, ±), pp. ±±“; and
Poovey, ˜˜The Anathematized Race: The Governess and Jane Eyre,™™ Uneven
Developments, pp. ±“.
° Genette coins these terms to counteract the imprecision he discerns in the
more traditional categories of ¬rst-person and third-person narration. As
Genette rightly observes, someone “ whether real or imagined, speci¬ed or
unspeci¬ed, omniscient or epistemologically limited “ is always speaking or
writing in the ¬rst person, even in what we call third-person narration. In
Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method, trans. Jane E. Lewin (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, ±°), Genette distinguishes between ˜˜the character
whose point of view orients the narrative perspective™™ and ˜˜the character
who is the narrator,™™ that is: between ˜˜who sees™™ and ˜˜who speaks™™ (p. ±).
But in Narrative Discourse Revisited, trans. Jane E. Lewin (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, ±), Genette observes that ˜˜it would be better to ask . . .
where is the focus of perception™™ (p. ). The question that Genette re-
focuses for us, then, is not the number, voice, or mood of persons speaking
or writing, but the placement of the perceiving consciousness with respect to
the narrative mis en scene.
`
± Genette, Narrative Discourse, p. µ.
 ˜˜Dominant ¬ction™™ is Kaja Silverman™s formulation; see Male Subjectivity at
the Margins (New York: Routledge, ±), pp. ±µ“µ±.
 Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial
Desire (New York: Columbia University Press, ±µ), see pp. ±“°. See also
Gayle Rubin, ˜˜The Tra¬c in Women: Notes Toward a Political Economy
of Sex,™™ Toward an Anthropology of Women, ed. Rayna Reiter (New York:
Monthly Review Press, ±·µ).
 My account of the ˜˜other Oedipus™™ is indebted to Christopher New¬eld™s
reading of Freud™s Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (±±); see
˜˜Democracy and Male Homoeroticism,™™ The Yale Journal of Criticism , no. 
(Fall ±), “µ. See also New¬eld™s The Emerson E¬ect: Individualism and
Submission in America (University of Chicago Press, ±).
µ For a radical critique of psychoanalytic methodologies, see Gilles Deleuze
and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert
´
Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, ±).
 On the mutual imbrication of identi¬cation and desire, see Sedgwick,
Between Men, pp. “· and Epistemology, pp. ±“ and pp. ±µ“°; Silverman,
Male Subjectivity at the Margins, p. ±·; and Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On
the Discursive Limits of ˜˜Sex™™ (New York: Routledge, ±), pp. µ“±±±.
· Butler, Bodies That Matter, p. ±°µ.

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