Phallic Critiques

Mount St. Vincent University


 Phallic Critiques was the first study made of the relationship between masculinity and literature. It focuses on the twentieth century —an age, according to Virginia Woolf, when "virility has become self-conscious." Writers who carry macho values to their extreme often subscribe to the popular feeling that writing is an effeminate activity for a real man to be engaged in, Consequently they attempt to forge "masculine" styles of writing in an effort to redeem language from its sexually suspect nature. These styles reveal much about the ambivalent and paradoxical attitudes of men towards their masculine role.

This book ranges from such American authors as Norman Mailer, Ernest Hemingway and Philip Roth to international figures like Yukio Mishima, Alberto Moravia, Alfred Jarry and Michel Leiris .