The Other Man: Homofiliation, Marriage, and <i>A Hazard of New Fortunes</i>

Axel Nissen

in Manly Love

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226586663
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226586687 | DOI:
The Other Man: Homofiliation, Marriage, and A Hazard of New Fortunes

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This chapter focuses on William Dean Howells's A Hazard of New Fortunes (1889). It discusses the importance of “homofiliation” to the formation of male–female romantic bonds and to the absence or presence of narrative closure in marriage. The chapter briefly considers how this study and future work might contribute to a “literary history of sexuality.” The primary relationship in the novels of William Dean Howells is frequently a relationship between two men rather than a relationship between a man and a woman. This bond may be one of friendship, partnership, mentorship, mutual admiration, or even unrequited love. It may include an erotic or, for that matter, instrumental element, but it is always mutual, intimate, and committed. The chapter refers to this type of personal relationship, as it forms and develops in the course of a narrative, as homofiliation. In Howells's fictional world, two men's emotional bond, particularly if one or both of them are unmarried, impinges on, influences, and in fact mediates, their relations with women.

Keywords: homofiliation; New Fortunes; William Dean Howells; male–female relation; romantic bond; emotional bond; narrative

Chapter.  6642 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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