The Shifting Geography of Masculinity in Death and Venice and ‘The Dead’

Michael Kane

Abstract


This article suggests that both James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ (1914) and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice (1912) can be read as explorations of ‘geographies of masculinity’ and ‘imaginative geographies’ shaped by imperialist and patriarchal cultures prior to the First World War. These classic modernist literary texts reveal how closely the gender identities / performances of their central male characters are related to their deeply engrained, culturally conditioned imaginative, emotional as well as political geographies. They also trace the developing identity crises of the central characters in terms of gender, geography, politics, and the natural environment. The similarity in the descriptions of landscape and seascape at the conclusions of the two stories point to similar resolutions of the crises of these middle-aged men involving similar shifts in both geographical and political outlook. This may be seen as part of the wider changing landscape of gender in the early twentieth century and of the gradual collapse of a modern, male, bourgeois sense of self, shown in these pieces of fiction to be subtly but intricately related to a sense of human and environmental geography and a Weltanschauung based on mastery and the maintenance of (illusory) boundaries.


Keywords


Joyce’s ‘The Dead’; Death in Venice; geography of masculinity; cultural imperialism; gender and environment

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adair, G. (2001) The Real Tadzio: Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice” and the Boy who inspired it. London: Short Books.

Bauer, E. K. (2015) ‘Masculinity in Crisis: Aging Men in Thomas Mann’s “Der Tod in Venedig” and Max Frisch’s “Homo Faber.”’ The German Quarterly, 88(1), pp. 22-42.

Beauchamp, G. (2011) ‘Two Orders of Myth in Death in Venice.’ Papers on Language & Literature, 47(4), pp. 386-403.

Berman, M. (2010) All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. New Edition. London: Verso

Boone, J.A. and Cadden, M. (1990) Engendering Men: The question of male feminist criticism. New York: Routledge.

Bourdieu, P. (1998) La Domination Masculine. Paris: Seuil.

Butler, J. (1999) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York and London: Routledge.

Cheng, V. J. (2006) ‘Empire and Patriarchy in “The Dead”.’ In Joyce, Dubliners, A Norton Critical Edition, Norris, M. (ed). New York: W. W. Norton, pp. 342-365.

Cixous, H. (1989) ‘Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks / Ways Out/ Forays.’ In Belsey, C. and Moore, J. (eds) The Feminist Reader. Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, pp. 101-116.

Clay, D. (2013) ‘Phaedrus on the Lido: Tod in Venedig’. Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, 21(1), pp. 63-76.

Connell, R.W. (2005) Masculinities. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity.

Connell, R.W. (2017) ‘Foreword.’ RCC Perspectives, 4, Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change (2017), pp. 5-8.

Connell, R.W. and Pearse, R. (2015) Gender: in World Perspective. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Polity.

Daniels, S. (2011) ‘Geographical Imagination.’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(2), pp.182-187.

Darcy, C. J. 2019. ‘‘We Don’t Really Give a Fiddlers About Anything’: The Ambiguity, Contradiction and Fluidity of Irish Masculinities.’ Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 19(1), pp. 16-32.

Ellmann, R. (1983) James Joyce. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fanon, F. (2008) Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press.

French, M. (1978) ‘Missing Pieces in Joyce’s Dubliners.’ Twentieth Century Literature, 24(4), pp. 443-472.

Gilbey, R. (2021) ‘“Death in Venice screwed up my life” – the tragic story of Visconti’s “beautiful boy”’. The Guardian, 15 July 2021. [Online] [Accessed 28 July 2021] https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/jul/15/death-in-venice-screwed-my-life-tragic-visconti-beautiful-boy-bjorn-andresen

Ging, D. (2013) Men and Masculinities in Irish Cinema. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Guthrie, W.K.C. (1967) The Greek Philosophers: from Thales to Aristotle. London: Routledge.

Heller, E. (1981) Thomas Mann: The Ironic German. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Huston, J. (1987) The Dead. United States: Vestron Pictures.

Ingersoll, E. G. (1996) ‘Chapter 6: The Gender of Travel.’ In Ingersoll, E. G., Engendered Trope in Joyce’s Dubliners. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Joyce, J. (2006) ‘The Dead.’ In Norris, M. (ed) Dubliners, A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W. W. Norton., pp.151-194.

Joyce, J. (2007) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Riquelme, J.P. (ed). New York: W.W. Norton.

Kane, M. (1999) Modern Men: Mapping Masculinity in English and German Literature 1880 – 1930. London: Cassell.

Kaplan, A. (1990) ‘Romancing the Empire: The Embodiment of American Masculinity in the Popular Historical Novel of the 1890s.’ American Literary History, 2(4), pp. 659- 690.

Kiberd, D. (1985) Men and Feminism in Modern Literature. London: Macmillan.

Kiberd, D. (1996) Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation. London: Vintage.

Kurzke, H. (1991) Thomas Mann. 2nd ed. Munich: C.H. Beck.

Latour, B. (2018) Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime. Trans. Porter, C. Cambridge: Polity.

Lefebvre, H. (1991) The Production of Space. Trans. Nicholson-Smith, D. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lewis, S.L. and Maslin, M.A. (2015) ‘Defining the Anthropocene.’ Nature, 519(7542), pp. 171-180.

Little, J. (2019). ‘Editorial: Emotional Geography and Transactions.’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(2), pp. 210-213.

Mann, T. (1977) Der Tod in Venedig und andere Erzählungen. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer.

Mann, T. (1988) Death in Venice and Other Stories. Trans. Luke, D.. New York: Bantam.

Maugue, A. (1987) L’identité masculine en crise au tournant du siècle. Paris: Rivages.

Meaney, G. (2011) Gender, Ireland and Cultural Change: race, sex and nation. London: Routledge.

Michel, B. (2019) ‘Making Mount Kilimanjaro German: Nation Building and Heroic Masculinity in the Colonial Geographies of Hans Meyer.’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(3): 493-508.

Mishra, P. (2018) ‘The Crisis in Modern Masculinity.’ The Guardian, 17 March 2018. [Online] [Accessed 29 January 2021] https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/ mar/17/the-crisis-in-modern-masculinity

Mooney, S. (2017) ‘Interrupted Masculinity in Dubliners.’ Joyce Studies Annual, (2017), pp. 220-256.

Mosse, G.L. (1985) Nationalism and Sexuality. New York: Fertig.

Norris, M. (2003) ‘Chapter 15: The Politics of Gender and Art in “The Dead.”’ In Norris, M. Suspicious Readings of Joyce's Dubliners. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 227-247.

Phillips, R. S. (1995) ‘Spaces of Adventure and Cultural Politics of Masculinity: R.M. Ballantyne and The Young Fur Traders.’ Environment & Planning D: Society & Space, 13(5), pp. 591-608.

Plato (1951) The Symposium. Trans. Hamilton, W. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics.

Plato (1973) Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII. Trans. Hamilton, W. London: Penguin Classics.

Ridley, H. (1994) The Problematic Bourgeois: Twentieth Century Criticism on Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain. Columbia, SC: Camden House.

Riley, M. (2021) ‘In the Autumn of Their Lives: Exploring the Geographies and Rhythms of Old[Er] Age Masculinities.’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 46(2), pp. 420-433.

Said, E. (1978) Orientalism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Schmidt, J. J. (2019) ‘The Moral Geography of the Earth System.’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(4), pp. 721-734.

Showalter, E. (1992) Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle. London: Virago.

Tally, R. jr. (2020) ‘Series Editor’s Preface’. In Kane, M. (2020) Postmodern Time and Space in Fiction and Theory. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Theweleit, K. (1980) Männerphantasien. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt.

Tόibín, C. (2021) The Magician. London: Penguin.

Van Boheemen-Saaf, C. (2001) ‘Postcolonial Masculinity and Gender Trauma.’ European Joyce Studies, 10, pp. 219-259.

Visconti, L. (1971) Death in Venice. United States: Warner Bros.

White, L. Jr. (1967) ‘The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis.’ Science, 155(3767), pp. 1203-1207.

Willis, L. (2017) ‘The Representation of Instinctive Homosexuality and Immoral Narcissism in Gide’s The Immoralist (1902) and Mann’s Death in Venice (1912).’ CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 19(2). [Online] [Accessed 29 January 2021] https://doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.2960

Wilper, J. P. (2013) ‘Wilde and the Model of Homosexuality in Mann's Der Tod in Venedig.’ Comparative Literature and Culture, 15(4). [Online] [Accessed 29 January 2021] https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2305&context= clcweb

Wilper, J.P. (2016) ‘Chapter 2: Transcending Greek Love.’ In Wilper, J.P. (2016) Reconsidering the Emergence of the Gay Novel in English and German. Indiana: Purdue University Press.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2022 Michael Kane