Chapter

Ferocious Beauty: Elizabeth Bowen, Katherine Anne Porter and the Modernist Female Dandy

Ellen Crowell

in The Dandy in Irish and American Southern Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625482
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652051 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625482.003.0004
Ferocious Beauty: Elizabeth Bowen, Katherine Anne Porter and the Modernist Female Dandy

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This chapter argues that dandyism is not exclusively masculine, because the dandy figure can also illuminate how feminine artifice is called upon to project the illusion of cultural hegemony. It explains that the figure of the female dandy is the fetishised icon of national heritage and a critical incarnation of nostalgia's gendered limitations. The chapter also analyses Elizabeth Bowen's The Last September and Katherine Anne Porter's Old Mortality, which presented readers with female protagonists taught to emulate the gendered poses and manners of their dying aristocratic cultures.

Keywords: female dandy; feminine artifice; cultural hegemony; national heritage; gendered limitations; Elizabeth Bowen; Last September; Katherine Anne Porter; Old Mortality

Chapter.  20494 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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