Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature [NOOK Book]

Overview


Between Medieval Men argues for the importance of synoptically examining the whole range of same-sex relations in the Anglo-Saxon period, revisiting well-known texts and issues (as well as material often considered marginal) from a radically different perspective. The introductory chapters first lay out the premises underlying the book and its critical context, then emphasise the need to avoid modern cultural assumptions about both male-female and male-male relationships, and underline the paramount place of ...
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Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature

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Overview


Between Medieval Men argues for the importance of synoptically examining the whole range of same-sex relations in the Anglo-Saxon period, revisiting well-known texts and issues (as well as material often considered marginal) from a radically different perspective. The introductory chapters first lay out the premises underlying the book and its critical context, then emphasise the need to avoid modern cultural assumptions about both male-female and male-male relationships, and underline the paramount place of homosocial bonds in Old English literature. Part II then investigates the construction of and attitudes to same-sex acts and identities in ethnographic, penitential, and theological texts, ranging widely throughout the Old English corpus and drawing on Classical, Medieval Latin, and Old Norse material. Part III expands the focus to homosocial bonds in Old English literature in order to explore the range of associations for same-sex intimacy and their representation in literary texts such as Genesis A, Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, The Dream of the Rood, The Phoenix, and AElfric's Lives of Saints.
During the course of the book's argument, David Clark uncovers several under-researched issues and suggests fruitful approaches for their investigation. He concludes that, in omitting to ask certain questions of Anglo-Saxon material, in being too willing to accept the status quo indicated by the extant corpus, in uncritically importing invisible (because normative) heterosexist assumptions in our reading, we risk misrepresenting the diversity and complexity that a more nuanced approach to issues of gender and sexuality suggests may be more genuinely characteristic of the period.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191567889
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/26/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 563 KB

Meet the Author



After completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford, David Clark held Stipendiary Lectureships at Wadham, Brasenose and Worcester Colleges, before his appointment as Lecturer in Old English at the University of Leicester. He has published a series of articles in leading journals stemming from his doctoral work on vengeance and heroism in Old English and Old Norse literature. He co-edited and contributed to Old Norse Made New: Essays on the Post-Medieval Reception of Old Norse Literature and Culture (Viking Society for Northern Research, 2007). He is now working on a major study of male friendship across the medieval period.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introductory

Introduction

1 A fine romance?: Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message

Pt. II Same-Sex Acts and Identities

2 Germanic Pederasty : The Evidence of the Classical Ethnographers

3 Attitudes to same-sex activity in Anglo-Saxon England: earg, the Penitential, and OE Badling

4 The changing face of Sodom, part I: The Latin traditon

5 The changing face of Sodom, part II: the vernacular tradition

Pt. III Homosocial bonds in Old English literature

6 Destructive desire: sexual themes and same-sex relations in Genesis A

7 Heroic desire?: Male relations in Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, and The Dream of the Rood

8 Monastic sexuality and same-sex procreation in The Phoenix

9 Saintly desire?: same sex relations in Aelfric's Lives of Saints

10 Unorthodox desire: the anonymous Life of Euphrosyne and the Colloquies of Aelfric

Bibliography

Index

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