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PhallaciesHistorical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity$
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Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, Jr.

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190458997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190458997.001.0001

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Masculinity and Disability

Masculinity and Disability

Ernest Hemingway, the Man, the Girl, and the Genius

(p.321) 15 Masculinity and Disability

Carolyn Slaughter

Oxford University Press

Ernest Hemingway was plagued all his life by sexual arousal linked to associations developed in early childhood. In his letters and writing, Hemingway does not easily use “I” or “you.” From Paris, he writes to his boyhood friends as simply a male: “Bring a male up to date.” Psychoanalysts have given us a full range of Hemingway’s mental disabilities: latent homosexuality, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, narcissism, gender-identity issues, self-image issues, domestic abuse, alcoholism, and sexual inadequacy. His most profound disability might perhaps have been his disconnection from himself and others. His deepest longing was to dissolve with another in a way that did not require him to be a separate, individual person. Ultimately, Hemingway’s desire for dissolution led to self-murder, even as the chaos, rage, and agony of his bipolar mind brought with it an astonishing blessing: stark, intense, and magnificent prose.

Keywords:   Hemingway, disability, disconnection, self-murder, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder

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