Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self, and Society in the Italian Renaissance

Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self, and Society in the Italian Renaissance

by Guido Ruggiero
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801898358

ISBN-13: 9780801898358

Pub. Date: 12/01/2010

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Machiavelli in Love introduces a complex concept of sex and sexual identity and their roles in the culture and politics of the Italian Renaissance. Guido Ruggiero's study counters the consensus among historians and literary critics that there was little sense of individual identity and almost no sense of sexual identity before the modern period.

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Overview

Machiavelli in Love introduces a complex concept of sex and sexual identity and their roles in the culture and politics of the Italian Renaissance. Guido Ruggiero's study counters the consensus among historians and literary critics that there was little sense of individual identity and almost no sense of sexual identity before the modern period.

Drawing from the works of major literary figures such as Boccaccio, Aretino, and Castiglione, and rereading them against archival evidence, Ruggiero examines the concept of identity via consensus realities of family, neighbors, friends, and social peers, as well as broader communities and solidarities. The author contends that Renaissance Italians understood sexual identity as a part of the human life cycle, something that changed throughout stages of youthful experimentation, marriage, adult companionship, and old age.

Machiavelli’s letters and literary production reveal a fascinating construction of self that is highly reliant on sexual reputation. Ruggiero's challenging reinterpretation of this canonical figure, as well as his unique treatment of other major works of the period, offer new approaches for reading Renaissance literature and new understandings of the way life was lived and perceived during this time.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801898358
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Of Birds, Figs, and Sexual Identity in the Renaissance, or The Marescalco's Boy Bride     19
Playing with the Devil: The Pleasures and Dangers of Sex and Play     41
The Abbot's Concubine: Renaissance Lies, Literature, and Power     71
Brunelleschi's First Masterpiece, or Mean Streets, Familiar Streets, Masculine Spaces, and Identity in Renaissance Florence     85
Machiavelli in Love: The Self-Presentation of an Aging Lover     108
Death and Resurrection and the Regime of Virtu, or Of Princes, Lovers, and Prickly Pears     163
Afterword. How Machiavelli Put the Devil Back in Hell     212
Notes     223
Bibliography     261
Index     279

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