By Thomas Strychacz
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Extra info for Dangerous Masculinities: Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence
Boone’s “Of (Me)n and Feminism” offers a precisely analogous example. ”53 Yet Boone’s essay in fact everywhere speaks its privilege: it employs the authoritative, complex style of the professional critic; it demonstrates a sure grasp of the history and theories of feminist thought, and advances the debate; it speaks of his work in print and at conferences; it has appeared in at least two books. Boone’s essay, far from establishing a “counter network of exchange,” and far from subverting “traditional masculine networks of power,” participates boldly in an economy of symbolic capital.
19 However, Brecht argued, “Not all gests are social gests”: “The attitude of chasing away a fly is not yet a social gest, though the attitude of chasing away a dog may be one, for instance if it comes to represent a badly dressed man’s continual battle against watchdogs. ”21 If human beings are constructed within particular social realities, the tendency to universalize empties human life of the richness and plenitude of its social being. The attempt to keep one’s balance on a slippery slope should not be misread as a metaphor for the human condition.
Lurie’s expert knowledge is the condition of her being able to interrogate the turn to esotericism of others; and her challenge operates within the structure of professional discourse not to close down, but to generate, new avenues of research. Deborah F. Jacobs arrives at a similar stance in her critique of feminist interpretations of modernism when she argues that “I don’t believe that . . ”49 Jacobs is correct. But her solution—Cultural Studies—perfectly captures the dilemma faced by all professional scholars involved in progressive politics.