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Sodomy, Masculinity and Law in Medieval Literature : France and England, 1050-1230 - William E. Burgwinkle

Sodomy, Masculinity and Law in Medieval Literature

France and England, 1050-1230

Hardcover

Published: 16th August 2004
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William Burgwinkle surveys poetry and letters, histories and literary fiction - including Grail romances - to offer a historical survey of attitudes towards same-sex love during the centuries that gave us the Plantagenet court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, courtly love, and Arthurian lore. Burgwinkle illustrates how 'sodomy' becomes a problematic feature of narratives of romance and knighthood. Most texts of the period denounce sodomy and use accusations of sodomitical practice as a way of maintaining a sacrificial climate in which masculine identity is set in opposition to the stigmatised other, for example the foreign, the feminine, and the heretical. What emerges from these readings, however, is that even the most homophobic, masculinist, and normative texts of the period demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to separate the sodomitical from the orthodox. These blurred boundaries allow readers to glimpse alternative, even homoerotic, readings.

"This elegantly understated tour de force is lucid, accessible, and appealing. It should speak to a variety of readerships, all of them fit, even if some of them are few: scholars of medieval romance, of Old French and Anglo-Norman, of the Latin prosimetrum and the so-called School of Chartres, and of the twelfth century generally and that sudden profusion in nearly ever form of cultural expression often misleadingly called the twelfth-century Renaissance." - Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University "warmly recommended" - Norris J. Lacey, Pennsylvania State University "the author provides a well-rounded look at sodomy, masculinity, and law, not to mention marriage, femininity, knighthood, courtly love, and romance in medieval English and French literature." - Dana Polanichka, History, UCLA "William Burgwinkle deserves immense credit for crafting a throughly grounded and critically refreshing argument about homophobic rhetoric and how it attempts to police the borders of gendered norms." Adam Miyashiro, Comparative Literature Studies

Introduction
Locations
Locating sodomy
Imagining sodomy
Confrontations
Making Perceval: double-binding and sieges perilleux
Queering the Celts: men who don't marry in Marie de France
Writing the self: Alain de Lille's De planctu naturae
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521839686
ISBN-10: 0521839688
Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 314
Published: 16th August 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.63