Gender Identity and Madness in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

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Breaks new ground in understanding the history and evolution of describing gender identity issues in fiction. Asserts that for lack of usable tropes for speaking of changing gender roles, several prominent novelists began to use the language of insanity as such a trope. This builds a new foundation for the understanding of the difficulty, for example, feminists of the 1970s had with phallocentric language and the lack of workable tropes to express femininity in a positive sense, instead of a Lacanian 'absence' mode. This work establishes such trope usage in novels circa 1850 and 1900, and compares linguistic change in light of societal change.


"To this book Lange brings a double expertise I think may be unique: he is a sensitive critic, widely read, and a professionally trained psychologist. His is a book that should generate discussion between psychologists and literary critics. Its gender focus is most timely. . . . I am impressed especially by the book's scope: English and American novelists throughout the nineteenth century, including such mainstays as Hawthorne and Melville, Dickens and Collins. This book gets better the deeper into it one penetrates. Lange is particularly insightful on late nineteenth-century fictions by Wells, Stevenson, and Haggard. He also revives overlooked authors such as the American Holmes and the Stoker who wrote several good novels besides Dracula. . . . Timely, wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary - this is a complex achievement by an erudite author who brings each of his areas of expertise effectively to bear upon the other." - Jerome Meckier

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. The House of the Seven Gables and The Marble Faun
2. The Woman in White and The Mystery of Edwin Drood
3. Pierre and Elsie Venner
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Invisible Man
5. Lord Jim and She
6. Norris's McTeague and Stoker's Lair of the White Worm
conclusion, Notes, Bibliography, Index

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