Part of me is inclined to forgo any sort of afterword. Might it not be a way of imposing closure, a last minute attempt to take charge of the reading process? On the other hand, a mysterious silence might connote a superior refusal to do any sort of tidying up, even to see the need to take leave of the reader. I hope that this book might help to challenge the residual equation between the heterosexual male reader and universal experience. More positively, I hope that it may incite critical self-consciousness about ‘reading as a man’. To this end, I have implied all along that the practice of reading could not be dissociated from ethical and historical choices. The readings I have carried out may serve as a reminder of the insistence with which patriarchal masculinity seeks to drown out the other, inciting the initiate to concentrate on implanted inner voices, instilling fear of ridicule, humiliation, or loss of status.
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