Billy’s Fist
  • David Greven


The first and the last chapters of Men Beyond Desire explicitly beg the question of a blow to the head. On some level, the fear of losing one’s one head— yielding to the power of another, essentially—has been the dominant theme of the works we have examined.


Comic Book Male Friendship Instantaneous Death Horror Film Heterosexual Relation 
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  1. 1.
    Daniel Mendolsohn, “The Passion of Henry James,” The New York Times Book Review, June 20, 2004, 10–13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926; reprint, New York: Charles Scribner’s Son, 1954). All references from this work are from this edition and are noted parenthetically within the text. This novel offers a dazzling array of male types; also especially interesting is Hemingway’s depiction of an tormented Jewish manhood in the figure of the boxer Robert Cohn, whom Jake also appreciates in an almost erotic register.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    J. Hoberman, The Magic Hour: Film at Fin-de-Siècle (Philadelphia, PA: Temple UP, 2003), 198–99. I deeply admire other Zinnemann films, but High Noon has always struck me as hollow American agitprop, even though conceived as an anti-McCarthy statement.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Bradford D. White, Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001), 209.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Mary Ann Doane, Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, and Psychoanalysis (New York: Routledge, 1991), 28. I am quoting Doane out of specific context, but I think I am employing her general point. She discusses the problem of the female spectator in Classic Hollywood in such films as the 1946 Humoresque and the 1949 Beyond the Forest in the section from which I quote her.Google Scholar

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© David Greven 2005

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  • David Greven

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