Sexing the Text: The Rhetoric of Sexual Difference in British Literature, 1700-1750

Sexing the Text: The Rhetoric of Sexual Difference in British Literature, 1700-1750

by Todd C. Parker
     
 

A contribution to the study of the history of sexuality, this book examines the emergence of a new kind of heterosexual rhetoric in the early eighteenth century, a rhetoric that ultimately displaced earlier and more diverse expressions of sexuality and the body. Drawing on traditional scholarly methods as well as recent queer-theoretical perspectives, the book traces… See more details below

Overview

A contribution to the study of the history of sexuality, this book examines the emergence of a new kind of heterosexual rhetoric in the early eighteenth century, a rhetoric that ultimately displaced earlier and more diverse expressions of sexuality and the body. Drawing on traditional scholarly methods as well as recent queer-theoretical perspectives, the book traces the rise of the modern paradigm of compulsory heterosexuality, and counters certain feminist assumptions about the nature of "masculinity" and "male character" during the period. Throughout, Parker offers readings of a variety of texts, including the fiercely homophobic pamphlet Onania; or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, Jonathan Swift's political satires on William Wood and Richard Tighe, Alexander Pope's poems To Cobham and To a Lady, Eliza Haywood's romance novel Philidore and Placentia, and John Cleland's pornographic novel Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791444856
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
02/01/2000
Pages:
218
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Sexuality and the "Natural" Subject of the Early Eighteenth Century1
1Onania: Self-Pollution and the Danger of Female Sexuality31
2Swift and the Political Anus49
3Pope's To Cobham and To a Lady: Empiricism and the Synecdochic Woman81
4Haywood's Philidore and Placentia, or What the Eunuch Lost119
5Reading the Rhetoric of Sexual Difference in Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure135
Coda177
Notes181
Bibliography203
Index211

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