• Alice Ferrebe


To begin with exclusions; this study does not consider the fictional output in the post-Second World War period of women, non-whites, or the non-English. It takes as its focus the white, middle-class, English, heterosexual, male, fiction-making majority, or rather, and crucially, a group of authors who strove to portray themselves as such. In it, I will consider the functions and significance of the category of the masculine in selected novels, arguing that masculinity has profound implications for the fictional narratives, textual styles and definitions of selfhood that emerged from the social and economic energies following the war and its aftermath in Britain. As Kaja Silverman writes in the introduction to Male Subjectivity at the Margins, of her focus upon the United States during and after the Second World War:

This book will isolate a historical moment at which the equation of the male sexual organ with the phallus could no longer be sustained, and it will show the disjuncture of those two terms to have led to a collective loss of belief in the whole of the dominant fiction. In doing so, it will foreground masculinity as a crucial site for renegotiating our vraisemblance.(2)

The decades following the Second World War are here upheld as a similar, if lengthy, ‘historical moment’, one in which masculinity, even when defined and displayed in a traditional manner, was conceived to be failing to pay the traditional dividends.


Reading Process Hegemonic Masculinity Normative Injunction Historical Moment Masculine Ideal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Alice Ferrebe 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Ferrebe
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Media, Critical and Creative ArtsLiverpool John Moores UniversityUK

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