Masculinities in Austrian Contemporary Literature: Strategic Evasion shows the important contribution that literature can make to the understanding of masculinities, by offering insights into the mental structures of hegemonic masculinity. It argues that while there is evidence of frustrating hegemonic masculinities, contemporary Austrian literature offers few positive images of alternative masculinity. The texts simultaneously criticize and present fantasies of hegemonic masculinity and as such provide a space for ambiguity and evasion. While providing readers with an in-depth study of the works of the authors Daniel Kehlmann, Doron Rabinovici and Arno Geiger, Matthias Eck elaborates the concept of strategic evasion. In order to bridge the gap between the ideal of masculinity and reality the male characters adopt two strategies of evasion: evasion to hide a softer and gentler side, and evasion into a world of fantasy where they pretend to live up to the ideal of hegemonic masculinity.
Table of Contents
Critical Theory: masculinity and masculinities
Analyzing masculinities in literature
Hegemonic masculinity as fantasy and fiction
Chapter 1: Daniel Kehlmann: Fictitious hegemonic masculinity
Imaginary spaces — imaginary masculinities: Die Vermessung der Welt
Virtual worlds — virtual masculinities: Ruhm
Chapter 2: Doron Rabinovici: Playing identity games
Jewish masculinity — an counter hegemonic masculinity?
From Väterliteratur and family stories to a new form of Elternliteratur
Multiplication of identities: Suche nach M
Chapter 3: Arno Geiger: New men? Towards a strategic passive, and
Moving towards a strategic passive masculinity: Es geht uns gut
Caring, gentle and emotionally literate masculinity: Alles über Sally
Common themes and trends
Implications for gender theory: strategic evasion
Literature as a theatre for gender fantasy
A caring, gentle and emotionally literate masculinity as a viable model?
Matthias Eck is a specialist on German-language literature and Gender Studies. He holds a BA in Modern History and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and a PhD in German from the University of St. Andrews. He has worked for over a decade in the area of gender, education and international development. His publications include ‘Memory and Jewish Masculinities in Works by Doron Rabinovici and Arno Geiger’, Austrian Studies (2016) and ‘Theatre and the Stage as an Arena for Male Gender Fantasies’, European Drama and Performance Studies (2018).