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Title: Masculinités francophones : an exploration of textual performances of gender in contemporary men's fiction in French
Author: Hunter, Clive William James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 8255
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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With the unprecedented cultural changes that have swept late twentieth- and early twenty first century Western society, the notion of "masculinity" has been increasingly subjected to critical scrutiny. This thesis explores how the deconstruction of an idealized, monolithic masculinity that has, arguably, resulted from such scrutiny is represented and performed in contemporary men's fiction in French. Mixing textual analysis with attention to aesthetic codes and socio-political context, it follows a tripartite structure, apportioning its chapters to "gay literary masculinities", "black literary masculinities" and "white heterosexual literary masculinities", in each case focusing specifically on the work of one principal author, namely Herve Guibert, Dany Laferriere and Michel Houellebecq respectively. In addition to Judith Butler's analyses of the performative nature of gender identities, this thesis is informed by a range of scholarly interventions in the areas of masculinity, gender, feminist, gay, queer, African-American and postcolonial studies. Engaging with these interventions - historical, sociological and theoretical - it examines how contemporary men's fiction, and its performative modes of representing men, intervene in current debates about masculinity. Specifically, it interrogates how contemporary male-authored narratives engage with masculinity through performative strategies of representing men that draw attention to masculinity's discursive limits and dramatise its deconstruction. And, conscious that gender is always performed to be read in certain ways by a certain audience, this thesis also examines what such performances might feasibly seek to achieve in terms of impact on their readership, addressing the relationship between narrator and reader and renewing the question of the politics of literature. In so doing, it sets out to redress the remarkable lack of critical attention devoted to French-language literary masculinities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available