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The Sunday Read: ‘Man to Man’

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For years, Wil S. Hylton had been drawn to his cousin’s strength and violence. He was pulled in by the archetype that he embodied and was envious of the power he seemed to command.

Wil describes his relative’s violence as “ambient” and “endemic,” but he was sure it wouldn’t turn on him. Until a few years ago, when his cousin tried to kill him.

On today’s Sunday Read, listen to Wil’s wide-ranging exploration of masculinity — that of his cousin’s as well as his own.

“My attraction to my cousin and my detachment as a husband both reside in the pantheon of male tropes,” he wrote. “Masculinity is a religion. It’s a compendium of saints: the vaunted patriarch, the taciturn cowboy, the errant knight, the reluctant hero, the gentle giant and omniscient father.”

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Credit…Photo illustration by Mike McQuade

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