By Thomas Strychacz
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Extra info for Dangerous Masculinities: Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence
In the literary/cultural/theoretical fields with which I am most familiar, the influence of feminism on everything from hiring practices to canon-formation to teaching methodologies to interpretive strategies could hardly be overstated. As a powerfully persuasive critical charter, feminism has had a transformative impact on the discourses and practices of higher education. It is in this context of disciplinary change that Boone’s and Lurie’s claim for the subversive properties of intellectual work makes most sense.
But in its tacit acknowledgment that a strategically powerful rhetorical move is being made. Here, the emphasis lies on the proposed act of rewriting. That move can be understood quite readily in terms of feminist praxis, which advocates a conscious and determined urge toward revisionist modes of inquiry. Yet the rhetorical dimension to Boone’s argument exceeds these requirements. His phrasing asks: what purchase on new interpretive grounds would become available if we were to rewrite feminist fears about “men in feminism” as a “strictly heterosexual gesture of appropriation”?
An essay I examine in part because Boone’s analysis of the 32 Dangerous Masculinities: Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence gender of modernism is so influential and in part because it is one of the best attempts to move male feminism beyond the frustrating impasse of Men in Feminism. ”36 His answer challenges the entrenched dualisms of Men in Feminism but does so, importantly, on the basis of a reconstructive and diversifying vision of masculinity. The problem, according to Boone, is that questions about masculinity have been posed too often in the “language of the ‘straight, white academic’” (19).