Maternal Records and Male Modernist Identities: The Family Albums of Ernest Hemingway and Christopher Isherwood
Investigates the influence of their mothers’ photograph albums and other maternal materials on the writings of Hemingway and Isherwood. Contends that as representations of traditional family identity, these records reveal much about family dynamics. Drawing on Grace Hall-Hemingway’s photograph albums covering Hemingway’s childhood and early adulthood, Kelley connects the mother’s shifting focus on gender identity (from gender flexibility to fixity as Hemingway matured) to the author’s own interest in androgyny and twinning in his later works. Notes the collapsing identities of Hudson and his wife in Islands in the Stream, Nick and Littless in “The Last Good Country,” and Catherine and David in The Garden of Eden. Concludes that though resistant at first, the male in each work eventually concedes to the female’s insistence on merged gender and sexual identities.
The Scrapbook in American Life