Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 A Speaking Subject/A Watching Object : Performing Sonship in Peter Rose's 'Rose Boys'
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'Peter Rose's 2001 memoir Rose Boys is a meditation on male family relationships. Described by the author as 'an essay in fraternal juxtaposition', the work is not only a tribute to a brother but also an acknowledgement of the centrality of the father in the formation of two very different sons. This article will elaborate on this principal auto/biographical exchange in Rose Boys: the exchange between a speaking or performing subject (in the sons Robert and Peter) and a watching object (in the father Bob Rose). How is the paternal gaze conceived of and represented in this form of auto/biography? Can this work be read as a 'performance' for the father? How is the performance of sonship framed and represented? And how is Peter Rose's auto/biographical act both a 'speaking for himself' and an attempt to speak for his brother? Can a life writer speak for another, or will another to speak through his work, and what are the ethical implications of this attempt? Stephen Mansfield.


  • Epigraph: To really develop the traditional masculine role, the young boy needs to be able to try out different behaviors and feelings, practice and display them, and have an audience - especially a male audience - that mirrors back how wonderful and masculine he is. Warren Steinberg, Masculinity: Identity, Conflict and Transformation (1993).
  • Epigraph: Adrian: 'Why do you wanna fight?' Rocky: 'Because I can't sing or dance.' Sylvester Stallone, Rocky
  • Epigraph: Yet why not say what happened? [...] We are poor passing facts, /warned by that to give/each figure in the photograph/his living name. Robert Lowell, 'Epilogue'

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  • Appears in:
    y Life Writing vol. 9 no. 1 March 2012 Z1850438 2012 periodical issue 2012 pg. 5-20
Last amended 22 Mar 2012 13:41:18
5-20 A Speaking Subject/A Watching Object : Performing Sonship in Peter Rose's 'Rose Boys'AustLit Life Writing
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