What happens when a male author writes the feminine? Can a male author completely identify with a woman? Or does a male author always write through a woman's voice for purposes of his own? This fascinating collection explores these and other questions about gender and writing from a wide range of theoretical perspectives, including pyschoanalysis, semiotics, deconstruction, feminism, postmodernism, and discourse analysis. The introductory essay provides an overview of current issues and methodologies in gender theory, while the 11 essays in the book discuss novels and poems, from the seventeenth century to the present, by British, American, and French male writers who speak as, through, or like the feminine.
Authors considered in this book include George Herbert, William Wordsworth, John Hawkes, Denis Diderot, Paul Verlaine, Randell Jarrell, John Berryman, William Faulkner, Thomas Pynchon, Jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan.
The collection ends with a piece on the future of men in feminism, a discussion of women's and gay and lesbian studies, and a debate on future directions in gender theory. Also included is a selected bibliography of recent books of interest to scholars and students working on literature, theory, and gender. Men Writing the Feminine is designed for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. It addresses men as well as women and promotes dialogue about the variety of gender positions represented in literature and theory.
Thais E. Morgan is Associate Professor of English at Arizona State University.