eTheses Repository

Paranoia, power and male identity in John Buchan's Literary War

Waddell, Nathan Joseph (2007)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

PDF (348Kb)


This thesis explores some of the intersections between paranoia, power, and male identity in the first three Hannay novels – The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), Greenmantle (1916), and Mr. Standfast (1919) – of John Buchan (1875-1940), and the close links between these intersections and the rhetoric and discourses surrounding World War One. It opens by arguing that Buchan’s ‘Literary War’ can itself be thought of as a kind of ‘paranoid imaginary’ in which cultural fears (particularly fears relating to decadence and degeneration) are projected outwards to return in the romantic guise of hostile foreigners intent on destroying England, and in which the image of the ‘strong’ masculine self is promoted as a means of protecting the nation. Chapter One argues that The Thirty-Nine Steps functions as an extension of the invasion novel tradition in which a model of masculinity derived from the imperial pioneer is offered as such a gesture of self-defence. Chapter Two looks to Greenmantle’s problematization of the strong masculine self along two axes of interference: homosexuality and homoerotic desire, and empowered femininity. Chapter Three argues that Mr. Standfast brings the Literary War to a close with an image of male power underpinned by the imagery and colours of chivalry. The thesis concludes with a short discussion of some of the innate problems and nuances of Buchan’s recourse to the paranoid imaginary.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gąsiorek, Andrzej (1960-)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
Subjects:PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:68
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
Export Reference As : ASCII + BibTeX + Dublin Core + EndNote + HTML + METS + MODS + OpenURL Object + Reference Manager + Refer + RefWorks
Share this item :
QR Code for this page

Repository Staff Only: item control page