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Male ConfessionsIntimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination$
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Bjorn Krondorfer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804768993

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804768993.001.0001

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Sons of Tears

Sons of Tears

Displacing the Intimate (Female) Other

(p.135) Chapter 5 Sons of Tears
Male Confessions
Stanford University Press

In their confessions, men variously deal with instances of vulnerability and protection by addressing themselves to external others. Male confessants may speak about their loved ones, those internal textual figures to whom they are intimately related, and reveal the grief and despair they feel over intimate others or the wounding associated with them. This chapter examines whether male tears reveal the confessant's deep attachment to loved ones. It considers the harm, silence, and abandonment in which the intimate other is entangled in texts that men have left as public witnesses to themselves. In particular, the chapter explores how men resolve the anxiety and wounding caused by symbiotic dilemmas between mothers and sons as well as those involving fathers, and argues that male vulnerabilities, to which confessional writings testify, do not necessarily translate into a deepening of relationships with intimate others. It also demonstrates that some acts of confessional writing are grounded in and motivated by a deep anxiety over the wounding related to intimate others, thus impeding and compromising face-to-face conversations.

Keywords:   confessions, tears, men, loved ones, grief, anxiety, wounding, intimate others, despair, mothers

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