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Disciplining Love: Austen and the Modern Man Michael Kramp

Disciplining Love: Austen and the Modern Man

Michael Kramp

Published February 22nd 2007
ISBN : 9780814210468
Hardcover
248 pages
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 About the Book 

The years following the French Revolution fostered a period of cultural instability in England. This cultural instability led to the dynamic developments in sexual identity and gender relationships observed in the novels of Jane Austen. WhileMoreThe years following the French Revolution fostered a period of cultural instability in England. This cultural instability led to the dynamic developments in sexual identity and gender relationships observed in the novels of Jane Austen. While numerous scholars have intelligently taken up the topic of Austens women and the social construction of femininity in her narratives, the issues both of Austens men and of the social function of masculinity remain relatively under-discussed. In Disciplining Love, Michael Kramp offers a fresh perspective on the dynamic function of gender, love, and desire in the novels of Austen, initiating a new direction in the study of the early-nineteenth-century novelist by employing the theoretical writings of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault to read Austens corpus.As the power and legitimacy of the aristocratic man waned, England had to turn to the bodies and the potential of new men from emerging classes and families. These men, however, had to be taught how to be proper male subjects in the modernizing world- most importantly, they had to be instructed to discipline their susceptibility to sexual desire and amorous emotions in order to maintain the hegemonic role of masculinity. In the modern nation of the nineteenth century, men who remained liable to love and desire ran the risk of becoming vulnerable to irrational passions and experiences. Such passions and experiences were simply not compatible with the post-Revolutionary English society that encouraged individuals to maximize utility and become industrious, and that required them to retain rational individuality.About the Author:Michael Kramp is associate professor ofEnglish and director of Cultural Studies at the University of Northern Colorado