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Kiss My Relics - Hermaphroditic Fictions of the Middle Ages | Chicago Scholarship Online
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Kiss My Relics: Hermaphroditic Fictions of the Middle Ages

David Rollo


Conservative thinkers of the early Middle Ages conceived of sensual gratification as a demonic snare contrived to debase the higher faculties of humanity, and they identified pagan writing as one of the primary conduits of decadence. Two aspects of the pagan legacy were treated with particular distrust: fiction, conceived as a devious contrivance that falsified God's order; and rhetorical opulence, viewed as a vain extravagance. Writing that offered these dangerous allurements came to be known as “hermaphroditic” and, by the later Middle Ages, to be equated with homosexuality. At the margins o ... More

Keywords: Middle Ages, pagan writing, decadence, pagan legacy, hermaphroditic, homosexuality, Alain de Lille, Jean de Meun, Chaucer

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780226724614
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226724607.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Rollo, author