The Cloud of Unknowing

  • Allan Johnson


This chapter reads Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926), D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931), and Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust (1934) as efforts to convey masculine identity through meditation on the absence, destruction, or deferral of the masculine call to action. Central male figures in all of these texts have been physically or metaphorically unmanned, leaving within the text a gap of signification and literal elision of plot or expression. Masculine identity in the years following the First World War, this chapter argues, became defined by what is lacking and the certain assault on the sequences implied by procreation, reproduction, and new life that the war engendered.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SurreyGuildfordUK

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