The study aims at disclosing how Collins's novel (Armadale) registers the shifting notion of gentlemanliness, fictionalizing the changing face of an ideal “in transition” from traditional models – the medieval knight, the eighteenth-century melancholic type, the Romantic hero – to new moral standards. While displaying a whole set of different masculinities, the pre-eminence given to the ambiguous and fascinating figure of Ozias Midwinter, establishes him as an early forerunner of the rootless, feminized anti-hero permeating fin-de-siècle European literature. Mixed-race, uprooted, vagrant and emasculated, Midwinter typifies an ideal figure that in Victorian terms stands for absolute “otherness”, tangling discourses on gender, race, class and science. Through an analysis of the several male (self-) fashionings staged in the novel, the essay casts light on the ways in which Collins’s narrative both fosters and responds to the identity crisis affecting mid-Victorian men.

“Not another like him in the world”: Wilkie Collins and the Gentleman Within

ANTINUCCI, Raffaella
2009

Abstract

The study aims at disclosing how Collins's novel (Armadale) registers the shifting notion of gentlemanliness, fictionalizing the changing face of an ideal “in transition” from traditional models – the medieval knight, the eighteenth-century melancholic type, the Romantic hero – to new moral standards. While displaying a whole set of different masculinities, the pre-eminence given to the ambiguous and fascinating figure of Ozias Midwinter, establishes him as an early forerunner of the rootless, feminized anti-hero permeating fin-de-siècle European literature. Mixed-race, uprooted, vagrant and emasculated, Midwinter typifies an ideal figure that in Victorian terms stands for absolute “otherness”, tangling discourses on gender, race, class and science. Through an analysis of the several male (self-) fashionings staged in the novel, the essay casts light on the ways in which Collins’s narrative both fosters and responds to the identity crisis affecting mid-Victorian men.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/19527
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