An ex-convict struggles with his addictive yearning for prison. A law-abiding citizen broods over his pleasure in violent, illegal acts. A prison warden loses his job because he is so successful in rehabilitating criminals. These are but a few of the intriguing stories Martha Grace Duncan examines in her bold, interdisciplinary book Romantic Outlaws, Beloved Prisons. Duncan writes: "This is a book about paradoxes and mingled yarns - about the bright sides of dark events, the silver linings of sable clouds." She portrays upright citizens who harbor a strange liking for criminal deeds, and criminals who conceive of prison in positive terms: as a nurturing mother, an academy, a matrix of spiritual rebirth, or a refuge from life's trivia. In developing her unique vision, Duncan draws on literature, history, psychoanalysis, and law. Her work reveals a nonutopian world in which criminals and non-criminals--while injuring each other in obvious ways--nonetheless live together in a symbiotic as well as an adversarial relationship, needing each other, serving each other, enriching each other's lives in profound and surprising fashion.
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.