By Ms. Marcia Jacobson
Being a Boy back identifies a literary style that flourished among the Civil conflict and global struggle I--the American boy ebook. Jacobson distinguishes the boy e-book culture from the didactic tale for boys and the developmental autobiography of formative years, describing it as an autobiographical shape that concentrates on boyhood by myself. She discusses what gave upward thrust to the boy booklet, what varieties it took, what difficulties it addressed, and eventually, why it disappeared. Jacobson unearths her solutions within the common social and financial adjustments of the second one 1/2 the nineteenth century, in addition to within the own problem that encouraged all the boy books. She argues that key works by way of such writers as Thomas Bailey Aldrich, William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, and sales space Tarkington marked a nostalgic retreat to being a boy back within the face of the problems of being a guy in 19th-century the US.
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Additional info for Being a boy again: autobiography and the American boy book
Cm. ) and index. Title. 409352054dc20 94-14510 British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data available Page v To Steve and Nate Page vii One of the best things in the world to be is a boy; it requires no experience, though it needs some practice to be a good one. The disadvantage of the position is that it does not last long enough; it is soon over; just as you get used to being a boy, you have to be something else, with a good deal more work to do and not half so much fun. And yet every boy is anxious to be a man.
Even where the narrator and protagonist are not characterized as distinct individuals, as will be the case in some of the boy books I examine, the presence of the narrator as someone apart from his protagonist is felt through his use of a style and tone that is sometimes faithful to a boyish perspective, but is equally often inappropriate, or, more accurately, ironically appropriate, and therefore appropriate to the adult. Lejeune is helpful in describing what is happening in such a text. After looking at the accounts of childhood by Jules Vallès, which he finds anomalous in French literature for their blurring of the distinction between narrator and protagonist, Lejeune speaks of the mixed texture of the narrative.
Instead, we have a genre in which the narrator and the younger self, the boy protagonist, occupy separate realms. Because the boy book struck so responsive a chord with the public, the genre appealed not only to writers seeking to explore autobiographical issues, but also to writers eager to profit from the market these books created. I have already spoken of the willingness of authors and publishers to reprint boy books as schoolbooks and of the new life the boy book gave the work of literary humorists.
Being a boy again: autobiography and the American boy book by Ms. Marcia Jacobson