By Graham Thompson
Male Sexuality below Surveillance is a full of life, clever, and expertly argued research of the development of male sexuality within the company workplace. Graham Thompson interweaves 3 major threads: a historicized cultural research of the improvement of the fashionable enterprise workplace from its beginnings within the early 19th century to the current day, a Foucauldian dialogue of the place of work because the web site of assorted disciplinary practices, and a queer-theoretical dialogue of the textualization of the homosexual male physique as a tool for generating a taxonomy of male-male kinfolk. the mix of those subject matters produces a learn that's clean, insightful, and provocative. furthermore, this fascinating research at the same time offers readings of fundamental texts—ranging from 1853 to 1995—that give a contribution considerably to scholarship on those works whereas advancing and deepening the theoretical discussions from which Male Sexuality less than Surveillance derives its premises. Thompson has divided his research into 3 sections. half 1 examines the bounds of male friendship in Herman Melville's “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” William Dean Howells's the increase of Silas Lapham, and Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt. half 2 examines the effect of corporatization and the feminization of paperwork upon directly male sexuality among global struggle II and the Seventies, utilizing Sloan Wilson's the guy within the grey Flannel swimsuit, Don DeLillo's Americana, and Joseph Heller's whatever occurred. half three indicates how the intercourse and gender nervousness obtrusive in directly male responses to the postwar place of work global is changed through a special feel of ways identification should be built when it comes to paintings in Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine and The Fermata and Douglas Coupland's Microserfs. Given its entire scope, Male Sexuality below Surveillance should be of curiosity not just to Americanists in most cases but additionally to students attracted to gender reviews and homosexual and lesbian reports. furthermore, as a result of its specialise in the consequences of adjusting monetary constructions on fabric tradition and social association, students attracted to materialist ways to literature will locate the publication in?nitely helpful.
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Extra info for Male Sexuality under Surveillance: The Office in American Literature
35 For the lawyer-narrator it is this extraction of coins from Bartleby’s desk/anus which leads to the clearest moment of surveillance of Bartleby, the moment when the lawyer-narrator recalls “all the quiet mysteries which I had noted in the man” (28). This passage of revelation is worth quoting at length: Revolving all these things, and coupling them with the recently discovered fact that he made my oﬃce his constant abiding place and home, and not forgetful of his morbid moodiness; revolving all these things, a prudential feeling began to steal over me.
If what I have written is true, then what has taken place in “Bartleby” is a form of projection and displacement. The lawyer-narrator is reviewing in his narrative not this strange character Bartleby, but himself. Bartleby is the location upon which the lawyer-narrator is written or unwritten. The lawyer-narrator and Bartleby, while constituted in the narrative as two separate characters, are actually a palimpsest of American male sexual identity in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Solid bulk” and the “pair of massive shoulders” (4) of the journalist Bartley Hubbard’s description—is emphasized right from the start. A Civil War veteran, with a constant reminder of Gettysburg buried in his leg (16–17) and with his nonstandard accent, Lapham is the kind of man who thinks “the landscape was made for man, and not man for the landscape” (15) and who likes his women to be women from the same mold: “not silly little girls grown up to look like women” (14) but women who can share a joke and who are capable of looking after their husbands’ businesses while they are away ﬁghting (17).