Gender, Rhetoric, and Print Culture in French Renaissance by Floyd Gray

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By Floyd Gray

Floyd grey explores how the therapy of arguable topics in French Renaissance writing was once suffering from rhetorical conventions and the economic requisites of an increasing publishing undefined. targeting a variety of discourses on gender issues--misogynist, feminist, autobiographical, gay and medical--Gray finds the level to which those marginalized texts mirror literary matters instead of social fact. His new readings of Rabelais, Montaigne, Louise Lab? and others, problem the inherent anachronism of feedback that fails to take account of the cultural context of the interval.

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16 In the ®rst place, it argues against the desire and pursuit of the unattainable. More speci®cally, it illustrates the destructive effect of self-love on others as well as on oneself. But the complexity and elaboration of his treatment are not directed solely to privileging any lesson which the story may imply, nor does the poet call attention to any of its moral implications. His interest is in combining the story of the punishment of Echo with the story of the punishment of Narcissus in a way which brings out the paradox, indeed the absurdity, of their interrelationship.

This reading is con®rmed, moreover, by the closing moral instructing the devisantes not to neglect their lovers or delight Irony and the sexual other 45 in their martyrdom if they love heaven and themselves, for they will only regret their cruelty ± a moral which has little to do with Narcissus. And while both Flore's and Ovid's Echo continue to echo even after death, her Narcissus simply dies, while Ovid's, received into the Underworld, continues, with ®nal irony, to gaze upon himself in Stygian waters.

Mockery of marriage was not new in the Renaissance; it was already traditional in Greek and Roman comedy, not to mention its prevalence in medieval farce. Not surprisingly, therefore, the devisantes are prepared to practice what they preach, inviting young men for a visit and entreating them to remain for the night, taking the initiative in what is an obvious reversal of traditional gender roles, and just the kind of reversal which a male author and audience would appreciate and applaud. In the fourth story, which celebrates female sexuality and the inability of old husbands to satisfy women's young desires, Madame Minerve calls for wives to deceive their husbands: Veu ce, nous n'avons doncques tort, amoureuses compaignes, si pour mitiguer noz martyres venons aÁ choisir qui puisse supplier aux faultes que font noz maris impotens, lesquelz possible, quoy qu'ilz meslent le ciel et la Irony and the sexual other 41 terre ensemble quand ilz nous surpreignent en noz larcins amoureux, sont bien joyeulx de trouver oeuvre faite.

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