Medieval Venuses and Cupids: Sexuality, Hermeneutics, and English Poetry

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Stanford University Press, Jun 1, 1996 - Poetry - 296 pages
Medieval Venuses and Cupids analyses the transformations of the love deities in later Middle English Chaucerian poetry, academic Latin discourses on classical myth (including astrology, natural philosophy, and commentaries on classical Roman literature), and French conventions that associate Venus and Cupid with Ovidian arts of love. Whereas existing studies of Venus and Cupid contend that they always and everywhere represent two loves (good and evil), the author argues that medieval discourses actually promulgate diverse, multiple, and often contradictory meanings for the deities. The book establishes the range of meanings bestowed on the deities through the later Middle Ages, and draws on feminist and cultural theories to offer new models for interpreting both academic Latin discourses and vernacular poetry.
 

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Contents

Chapter
2
Chapter
8
Semiotic Nomads
42
Ambiguous Signs Contingent Truths
78
Myths of a Venereal Nature
136
Unnatural Acts
162
Remedia Amoris 178
178
Venus Cupid and English Poetry
198
Afterword
211
Motes
217
Bibliography
263
Index
291
Copyright

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Page 1 - is hackneyed, and a school-boy image, is an accidental fault, dependent on the age in which the author wrote, and not deduced from the nature of the thing. That it is part of an exploded mythology, is an objection more deeply grounded. Yet when the torch of ancient learning was rekindled, so cheering were its beams, that our eldest poets, cut off by Christianity ' from all accredited machinery, and deprived of all acknowledged guardians and symbols of the great objects of nature, were naturally...
Page 9 - She is all there. She was melted carefully down for you and cast up from your childhood, cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies. She has always been there, my darling. She is, in fact, exquisite. Fireworks in the dull middle of February and as real as a cast-iron pot. Let's face it, I have been momentary. A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor. My hair rising like smoke from the car window. Littleneck clams out of season. She...

About the author (1996)

Terry Tinkle is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

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