Synopses & Reviews
] advances our understanding of American culture with contributions of original and often superior research that come together as an interdisciplinary conversation about sentimentalism and masculinity."and#151;Charles Berryman, author of Decade of Novels
"[Sentimental Men] makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing theoretical, historical, and critical project of reassessing sentimental discourse. Like the best of the recent work in this field, this anthology of essays does not merely celebrate what had formerly been execrated by professional readers, but it undertakes to understand the reasons behind celebration and execration alike. More centrally, it endeavors to reveal the 'cultural work' that sentimentalism does, and continues to do, in the overlapping spheres of art and culture."and#151;Katherine Snyder, University of California, Berkeley
This book is a comprehensive, original, and critical reevaluation of masculine sentiment in American literature and culture. It challenges the association of sentimentality as associated exclusively with femininity in American culture, and examines sentiment as literary genre, rhetorical mode, as well as a manifestation of practical consciousness.
The essays in this volume analyze a wide variety of cultural forms to demonstrate the centrality of masculine sentiment in American literary and cultural history from the early republic to the progressive era. Challenging the association of sentimentality exclusively with femininity in studies of American culture, the contributors analyze sentimentalism not just as a literary genre but as a structure of feeling manifested in many areas: temperance testimonials, begging letters, historiography, philanthropic performance, photography, portraiture, and poetry. Essays from a variety of disciplinesand#151;American studies, literature, history, art, gender studiesand#151;deconstruct the alignment of reason, commerce, and the public sphere with men, and feelings, domesticity, and the private sphere with women.
About the Author
Mary Chapman is Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. Glenn Hendler is Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Table of Contents
Fireside chastity: the erotics of sentimental bachelorhood in the 1850s / Vincent J. Bertolini -- Feeling for the fireside: Longfellow, Lynch, and the topography of poetic power / Kirsten Silva Gruesz -- Then when we clutch hardest: on the death of a child and the replication of an image / Karen Sâanchez-Eppler -- The black body erotic and the republican body politic, 1790-1820 / John Saillant -- Remembering metacom: historical writing and the cultures of masculinity in early republican America / Philip Gould -- Bloated bodies and sober sentiments: masculinity in 1840s temperance narratives / Glenn Hendler -- Sentimental abolition in Douglass's decade: revision, erotic conversion, and the politics of witnessing in The heroic slave and My bondage and my freedom / P. Gabrielle Foreman -- Chivalric sentimentalism: the case of Dr. Howe and Laura Bridgman / Cassandra Cleghorn -- The gaze of success: failed men and the sentimental marketplace, 1873-1893 / Scott A. Sandage -- Masochism and male sentimentalism: Charles Brockden Brown's Clara Howard / Bruce Burgett -- Sentimental and romantic masculinities in Moby-Dick and Pierre / Tara Penry -- Sentimental realism in Thomas Eakins's late portraits / Martin A. Berger -- Sentimental tentacles: Frank Norris's The octopus / Francesca Sawaya.