Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

I wish to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Columbia University Council for Research in the Humanities for the liberal grants that afforded me the time to complete this book. To Jonathan Z. Pallet of the Columbia Office of Projects and Grants, I owe an inordinate debt of thanks for his unstinting efforts on behalf of this project and ...

read more

Introduction: The Archeology of Rape in Medieval Literature and Law

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-20

Between the image of a Middle Ages in which men are so brutal they see nothing wrong with sexual violence and that of a Middle Ages dominated by powerful women who enjoy sexual freedom, this book traces the contours of something less sensational, perhaps less appealing, but more complex. It studies the naturalization of the subordination of women in medieval French culture by examining representations of rape in different discursive genres, both literary and legal. ...

read more

1. Plotting Rape in the Female Saints' Lives

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-41

The specifically Christian transformation of sexual difference into subordination occurs in slow and complicated patterns. Out of the early Christian rejection of corporal experience comes a new asceticism that grounds itself in an ideological subordination of women and a misogynist construction of femininity.1 Pauline doctrine on sexuality informs the patristic theology that legitimizes the gradual exclusion of women from ecclesiastic ...

read more

2. The Poetics of Rape Law: Chr

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 42-71

Our close reading of female sexuality and male brutality in Wace's Vie de Sainte Marguerite, disclosed there gestures belonging to the power struggle behind "romantic love." Wace, we know, was also the first writer of vernacular Arthurian romance. The very name of Arthurian romance conjures up images of valor, courtliness, and gentility; we hardly associate courtly ...

read more

3. Replaying Rape: Feudal Law on Trial in Le Roman de Renart

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 72-103

The archeology of feudal rape law discloses itself in a group of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Old French texts entitled Le Roman de Renart, a cycle of narratives in which the characters are humanized animals.1 The genre draws its sources from universal folklore. In the French medieval avatar, the hero is the trickster fox Renart. Composed between approximately 1171 and 1250, the collection is made up of elements, of varying length and ...

read more

4. The Game of Rape: Sexual Violence and Social Class in the Pastourelle

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 104-121

Just as the trial scenes in Le Roman de Renart create an imaginary place in which rape can become comic, so too does the medieval pastourelle constitute a discursive space in which one can laugh at the spectacle of rape. The pastourelle further resembles the branches of the Renart discussed in the previous chapter in that its levity does not preclude a degree of seriousness. ...

read more

5. The Complicity of Law and Literature

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 122-140

Old French literature and medieval law offer conflicting images of sexual behavior. We can meaningfully contrast constructions of sexual practices in literature to other cultural representations, such as those that describe and define criminal sexuality. This chapter will examine two nonliterary manifestations of the discursive practice of rape: the texts of medieval law, both canon and civil, which reveal the judicial norm, and the records of ...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-144

The preceding chapters form a cultural archeology in which we can reposition the idealization of the feminine that emerges from French medieval courtly literature. When we contextualize the construction of the feminine in courtly love discourse among other contemporary discourses, their complicity in naturalizing what seems to have been the common practice of violence against women is revealed. ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 145-175

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-187

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-192