Masculinity in the margins : hidden narratives of the self in T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Název: Masculinity in the margins : hidden narratives of the self in T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2010, roč. 36, č. 2, s. [101]-111
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence

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Recent work in the field of life writing has insightfully studied texts that blur the line between fiction and nonfiction in self-reflexively constructing (narratives of) the self. One of the more productive lenses for studying life writing has been that of gender, but it has primarily focused on texts by women. Men, for centuries perceived as the "unmarked" gender, have, paradoxically, eluded academic analysis as embodied gendered beings and thus seem to call for more critical attention. The present paper seeks to do so by looking into a hybrid life narrative, T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and analyzing the way in which it, in a dialogue with Lawrence's letters, inscribes masculinity. The analysis, proceeding from the work of Gagnier (1990) and Gilmore (1994) and extending it to the study of men, focuses on what statements about the self, explicitly expressed or confined between the lines, do within the narrative and in the self-creation of the author. The main attention is given to the representations of the body and their intersection with the Victorian codes of masculinity. It is argued that the very denial of the body makes the body present throughout the text, as a narrative trope and a moral presence. Such an analysis, it is hoped, will help to reassess the multilayered presence of corporeality in men's life narratives and its relationship with discourses of masculinity.
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