The Feminized Male Character in Twentieth-century Literature

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Edwin Mellen Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 297 pages
This study explores a character type who is neither androgynous nor feminine, presenting a critique of the way in which the term androgynous has been misapplied to the feminized male, and through the use of reader response theory, argues that this type of figure appeals to female readers because he reflects parts of themselves often ignored or outrightly ridiculed through male literary representation. The book presents new arguments about characters created by James Joyce (Ulysses), Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises, The Garden of Eden), Jack Kerouac (On the Road), and Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift), advancing a growing body of research rejecting the majority view of these four writers as antifeminine artists. The feminized male, whose male creator has intentionally endowed him with feminine as well as masculine qualities in an effort to explore the complexities of gender in a dialectically social (via literary) realm, presents a powerful technique to explore, challenge, and re-define gender, not only in fiction but in everyday lives as well.

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