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A Dangerous Fiction

Subverting Hegemonic Masculinity through the Novels of Michael Chabon and Tom Wolfe

Louise Colbran

Masculinity is one of the key issues at stake in contemporary writing and gender studies. In their novels, Michael Chabon and Tom Wolfe both consistently make masculinity a prominent thematic and ideological concern. This study is the first full length scholarly work to take their work and their treatment of masculinity as its focus. How do these American authors critique the representation of masculinity within popular culture in Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Summerland, A Man in Full and The Bonfire of the Vanities? How do popular images of masculinity function for individual men and the way they experience their masculinities?
A Dangerous Fiction investigates the ways in which Chabon and Wolfe strip masculinity of any illusion of an essential nature and expose it as something highly culturally dependent and explains how these novels suggest to understand masculinity in the contemporary world.

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Index 257

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257 Index Adair, Robert K. 96–97 Alsop, Rachel, Annette Fitzsimons, and Kathleen Lenon 10, 11 Alter, Jonathan 220n Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The (Chabon) 9, 12, 36–38, 63–64, 85, 109–133, 135–136, 141, 150, 172–181, 182–183, 193, 195, 197–203 Anaya, Rudolfo 38n Andrews, James 142, 145 Angell, Roger 103 Arnold, Martin 165 Arora, Shirly R. 38n, 40–41 Bahr, David 27–28 Bakhtin, Mikhail 49n; carnival 61, 66, 85, 87–88, 90, 93, 100, 102, 106, 123 Barakat, Robert A. 38n, 41 Barker, Martin 115 Barthes, Roland 23 Baumann, Paul 136, 144 Bellamy, Joe David 46, 47–48, 49–50 Benedictus, David 141 Benton, Mike 112, 133n Birkerts, Sven 218 Black, George 146, 148 Blake, Andrew 72, 80, 85, 85n, 97, 105 Blom, Philipp 34–35 Bly, Robert 40n, 84, 94, 154, 187, 189– 190, 198, 213 Bonfire of the Vanities, The (Wolfe) 9, 12, 45–46, 55–63, 65, 73–81, 96, 109, 110, 135–148, 231–238 Bongartz, Roy 103 Bourdieu, Pierre 196, 208, 232 Breitman, Barbara 172n Brod, Harry 160n, 172 Brown, Jeffrey A. 112–113, 137 Bryson, Lois 83n Buchbinder, David 112, 120, 130–131, 159, 209 Butler, Judith 10–12, 52-53, 82, 214, 216 Campbell, Joseph 110, 117–118, 118n, 126, 132, 133n, 134, 145–146 Carpenter, Luther 139, 147 Caveney, Graham 23 Chabon, Michael 23–29, 42; discussion of novels: see individual titles Coetzee, J.M. 115, 127n Cohen, Morris Raphael 105–106 Cole, SuzAnne C. & Jeff...

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