By Steven Marcus
Friedrich Engels' first significant paintings, The of the operating category in England in 1844, has lengthy been thought of a social, political, and monetary vintage. the 1st booklet of its style to review the phenomenon of urbanism and the issues of the trendy urban, Engels' textual content includes some of the rules he used to be later to improve in collaboration with Karl Marx. during this ebook, Steven Marcus, writer of the hugely acclaimed The different Victorians, applies himself to the examine of Engels' e-book and the stipulations that mixed to provide it.
Marcus reviews town of Manchester, centre of the 1st commercial Revolution, among 1835 and 1850 while town and its population have been experiencing the 1st nice situation of the newly rising commercial capitalism. He additionally examines Engels himself, son of a prosperous German fabric producer, who used to be despatched to Manchester to accomplish his enterprise schooling within the English cotton mills.
Touching upon numerous disciplines, together with the historical past of socialism, city sociology, Marxist suggestion, and the historical past and conception of the economic Revolution, Engels, Manchester, and the operating Class deals a desirable research of nineteenth-century English literature and cultural life.
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Apter concludes her brief look at the racial fantasy in Riviere by suggesting that the ‘‘lesson we might draw’’ from it is that ‘‘the chosen prototype of the masquerading woman is a problematic ﬁgure—abstracted from history and culture and blind to the psychosexual politics of racism’’ (91–92). As I have contended, however, it is precisely the way in which Riviere, and her masquerading woman, are ‘‘problematic’’ that makes them especially promising as prototypes for understanding how femininity has been constructed and played out within its particularly racialized contexts.
Up until this Masquerade and Reparation • 23 point, Riviere’s patient has been presented as either superﬁcially heterosexual (gaining satisfaction in sexual relations with her husband only because her anxiety is thus allayed) or frigid. ’’∞≠ Moreover, Butler explains, this predicament is ‘‘produced by a matrix that accounts for all desire for women by subjects of whatever sex or gender as originating in a masculine, heterosexual position. The libido-asmasculine is the source from which all possible sexuality is presumed to come’’ (53).
Riviere notes that for this woman, ‘‘[w]omanliness . . could be assumed and worn as a mask, both to hide the possession of masculinity and to avert the reprisals expected if she was found to possess it—much as a thief will turn out his pockets and ask to be searched to prove that he has not the stolen goods’’ (38). Whereas she can turn her pockets out and show that she has no penis after all, the black man she fantasizes about cannot do so, and his horriﬁc punishment will be, after all, his literal castration and death.