Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White by Tison Pugh

By Tison Pugh

For the U.S. South, the parable of chivalric masculinity dominates the cultural and old panorama. Visions of white southern males as archetypes of honor and gentility run all through nearby narratives with little regard for the activities and, now and then, the atrocities devoted by way of such males. In Queer Chivalry, Tison Pugh exposes the inherent contradictions in those depictions of cavalier manhood, investigating the rules of southern gallantry as a reincarnated and reauthorized model of medieval masculinity. Pugh argues that the assumption of masculinity -- relatively as noticeable in works by way of famous southern authors from Mark Twain to Ellen Gilchrist -- constitutes a cultural fable that queerly demarcates authorized norms of manliness, frequently by way of exhibiting the impossibility of its fulfillment.

Beginning with Twain's well-known critique of "the Sir Walter ailment" that pilloried the South, Pugh makes a speciality of authors who wondered the code of chivalry by means of growing protagonists whose quests for private knighthood end up quixotic. via designated readings of significant works -- together with Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's courtroom, Flannery O'Connor's brief fiction, John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, Robert Penn Warren's a spot to return To, Walker Percy's novels, and Gilchrist's The Annunciation -- Pugh demonstrates that the hypermasculinity of white-knight beliefs basically attracts realization to the ambiguous gender of the literary southern male.

Employing insights from gender and psychoanalytic conception, Queer Chivalry contributes to contemporary serious discussions of the cloaked anxieties approximately gender and sexuality in southern literature. finally, Pugh uncovers queer limits within the cavalier mythos, displaying how proof and fictions contributed to the ideological formula of the South.

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