The Union and Jack
British masculinities, pomophobia, and the post-nation
in Across the margins

This chapter starts with a general theoretical investigation into nationalist imageries of masculine and feminine embodiment. It offers a tentative outline of some of the most problematic shifts in the conceptualisation and literary representation of man, self and nation in Britain throughout the twentieth century. The chapter presents a close reading of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, which is to illustrate the syndromic inextricability of masculinist and nationalist discourses within a patriarchal context. It highlights the utopian potentialities of subnational emancipation; at the same time, it questions the ultimate political viability of any devolutionary attempt to move beyond masculinist notions of man, self and nation. Osborne's Jimmy Porter epitomises a crisis in self-authentication that seems endemic to post-war British culture in its entirety. Writing Men, illustrates that there are a number of contemporary British men writers who have become highly self-conscious of the gender-specificity of their writing.

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Across the margins

Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago


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