Class and Gender in Early English Literature: Intersections by Britton J. Harwood, Gillian R. Overing

By Britton J. Harwood, Gillian R. Overing

"[The essays] specialize in category and gender not just sheds new gentle on previous texts but additionally stretches the limits of the severe modus operandi that's frequently utilized to such literature." -- Women's stories community (UK) organization NewsletterThese dramatic new readings of previous and center English texts discover the wealthy theoretical territory on the intersection of sophistication and gender, and spotlight the interaction of the critic, method, and the medieval textual content.

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Whatever they may allegorically represent, the codes of Holofernes's feastits speeches, boasts, even its excessesare the legible, legitimizing signs of warrior status in Anglo-Saxon culture. Hypertrophied though this representation is, it is not too far removed from those feasts which serve their ritualistic purpose of preparing for war by solidifying the male community. At the same time, the poem begins to encode a warning against this same social system. The effect of its rhetorical hypertrophy is to underscore the dangers of these masculine rituals, in particular, the threats of violence and the breakdown of language.

The practice of intersection can be, and in- Page xiii deed should be, distinguished from the practice of opposition. To intersect suggests a passage, an active passing through and between, establishing multiple points of contact and divergence. With this model in mind, this collection seeks to articulate some sites of intersection, to provide a meeting ground, a place of convergenceone which aims to illuminate the intersections of methodology, critic, and medieval text. Page 1 Gender, Sexual Violence, and the Politics of War in the Old English Judith Karma Lochrie With cultural legislation comes cultural legibility, or illegibilityand then comes, inevitably, the collective and individual paranoia on which much social and psychic life depends.

The text of the poem emphasizes not the voices of warriors pro- Page 6 claiming their loyalties, but the inarticulate and violent sounds of Holofernes's drunkenness: Ða wearð Holofernus, goldwine gumena, on gytesalum, hloh ond hlydde, hlynede ond dynede, Þæt mihten fira bearn feorran gehyran hu se stiðmoda styrmde ond gylede, modig ond medugal, manode geneahhe bencsittende Þæt hi gebærdon wel. ) 14 Instead of speech acts by means of which the male community prepares itself for war, Holofernes's feast is characterized by the far-reaching sounds of laughing, clamoring, and storming.

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