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The HangoverA Literary and Cultural History$
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Jonanthon Shears

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621198.001.0001

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The Hangover and the Outsider: Self-fashioning, Shame and Defiance in Twentieth- and Twenty-first-century Fiction

The Hangover and the Outsider: Self-fashioning, Shame and Defiance in Twentieth- and Twenty-first-century Fiction

Chapter:
(p.171) Chapter 6 The Hangover and the Outsider: Self-fashioning, Shame and Defiance in Twentieth- and Twenty-first-century Fiction
Source:
The Hangover
Author(s):

Jonathon Shears

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621198.003.0007

Chapter 6 explores the way the hangover is used in drinking narratives of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to understand the figure of the existential, drunken outsider. It considers the ways in which the most defiant of rebellious figures are undermined by the physical and emotional assault of the hangover. The chapter looks at the different kinds of scrutiny that male and female problem drinkers come to bear, usually in relation to sexual conduct, and the increased presence of inexplicable ‘hangxiety’, often less easily defined than related emotions such as shame and guilt. There is close analysis of fiction from the US and the UK, including works by Jack London, Alan Sillitoe, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Rhys, Charles Bukowski, Helen Fielding and A. L. Kennedy. The chapter concludes by arguing that memory loss is perhaps the most compelling way in which the rebellious outside can cheat the socio-cultural determinants of a Traditional-Punishment response.

Keywords:   hangover, anxiety, outsiders, existentialism, gender norms, memory loss

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