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An insightful reexamination of early modern sexuality. 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780816646326
ISBN-10: 0816646325
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 149mm x 17mm)
Pages: 216
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Daniel Juan Gil

Daniel Juan Gil is assistant professor of English at TCU.

Books By Author Daniel Juan Gil

Shakespeare's Anti-Politics by Daniel Juan Gil

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Before Intimacy by Daniel Juan Gil

Before Intimacy

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