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Before Intimacy: Asocial Sexuality in Early Modern England

Gil, Daniel Juan

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ISBN 10: 0816646333 / ISBN 13: 9780816646333
Published by University of Minnesota Press, 2006
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Before Intimacy: Asocial Sexuality in Early ...

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Before the eighteenth-century rise of the ideology of intimacy, sexuality was defined not by social affiliations but by bodies. In Before Intimacy, Daniel Juan Gil examines sixteenth-century English literary concepts of sexuality that frame erotic ties as neither bound by social customs nor transgressive of them, but rather as “loopholes” in people’s experiences and associations. 

Engaging the poems of Wyatt, Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Spenser’s Amoretti and The Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and the Sonnets, Gil demonstrates how sexuality was conceived as a relationship system inhabited by men and women interchangeably—set apart from the “norm” and not institutionalized in a private or domestic realm. Going beyond the sodomy-as-transgression analytic, he asserts the existence of socially inconsequential sexual bonds while recognizing the pleasurable effects of violating the supposed traditional modes of bonding and ideals of universal humanity and social hierarchy. 

Celebrating the ability of corporeal emotions to interpret connections between people who share nothing in terms of societal structure, Before Intimacy shows how these works of early modern literature provide a discourse of sexuality that strives to understand status differences in erotic contexts and thereby question key assumptions of modernity. 

Daniel Juan Gil is assistant professor of English at TCU.

About the Author:

Daniel Juan Gil is assistant professor of English at TCU.

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