The Literature of Lesbianism
A Historical Anthology from Ariosto to Stonewall
Edited by Terry Castle
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Literature of Lesbianism by Terry Castle
Book DescriptionSince the Renaissance, countless writers have been magnetized by the notion of love between women. From Renaissance love poems to twentieth-century novels, plays, and short stories, The Literature of Lesbianism brings together hundreds of literary works on the subject of female homosexuality. This is not an anthology of "lesbian writers." Nor is it simply a one-sided compendium of "positive" or "negative" images of lesbian experience. Terry Castle explores the emergence and transformation of the "idea of lesbianism": its conceptual origins and how it has been transmitted, transformed, and collectively embellished over the past five centuries. Both male and female authors are represented here and they display an astonishing and often unpredictable range of attitudes. Some excoriate female same-sex love; some eulogize it. Some are salacious or satiric; others sympathetic and confessional. Yet what comes across everywhere is just how visible-as a literary theme-Sapphic love has always been in Western literature. As Castle demonstrates, it is hardly the taboo or forbidden topic we sometimes assume it to be, but has in fact been a central preoccupation for many of our greatest writers, past and present. Beginning with an excerpt from Ariosto's comic epic poem, Orlando Furioso, the anthology progresses chronologically through the next five centuries, presenting selections from Shakespeare, John Donne, Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Alexander Pope, the Marquis de Sade, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Bront , Emily Dickinson, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, Colette, and Graham Greene, among many others. It also includes some anonymous works-several published here for the first time-as well as numerous translations from the writers of antiquity, such as Sappho, Ovid, Martial, and Juvenal, whose rediscovery in the early Renaissance helped shape subsequent Western literary representations of female homosexuality.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231125116
(247mm x 180mm x 58mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 16-Nov-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Terry Castle
Victorine, Paperback (August 2008)
A sexual awakening novel like none other, mixing elements of Adleran psychology, surrealism, and the American pastoral.
Illusionist, Paperback (February 2006)
Bored and lonely, 15-year-old Helene decides to pay a visit to her father's mistress. Within days, she is captivated by Tamara, a Russian emigre whose arts of enchantment include lingering kisses, sudden dismissals and savage, rapturous reunions. As long as she submits to Tamara, Helene is permitted to stay near her.
Boss Ladies, Watch Out!, Paperback (October 2002)
Boss Ladies Watch Out! is about women as critics. The brilliant literary essayist Terry Castle writes with an intelligence and style that brings her subject to light and to task.
Female Thermometer, Paperback (June 1995)» View all books by Terry Castle
A collection of the author's essays on the history and development of female identity from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Throughout the book are woven themes which are constant in Castle's work: fantasy, hallucination, travesty, transgression and sexual ambiguity.
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Author Biography - Terry Castle
Terry Castle is Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities in the Department of English at Stanford University. She is the author of, among other books, The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture (Columbia, 1993), and Kindred Spirits: Noel Coward and Radclyffe Hall (Columbia, 1996). She has written widely on lesbian literature and culture for The New Republic, The London Review of Books, TLS, and other publications.
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