Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 12458
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Gates , Laura Doyle.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Distaff and Pen: Producing the Evangiles des Quenouilles
  • Source: Neophilologus 81, 1 (January 1997): Pages 13 - 20.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Authority Distaffs Evangiles des Quenouilles, Comic Text Gender Literature- Prose Misogyny in Literature Scribes and Scriptoria Writing
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 15
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  • Abstract: This paper traces the interworkings and conflicts between masculine and feminine modes of producing "textus" in the Evangiles des Quenouilles (c. 1474). Pen and distaff are emblems of writing in this comic work, which features a lone cleric who transcribes and frames the "gospels" (authoritative preaching) of a women's sewing circle, at their request. the women intend their oral text to gain honor and power for their sex; the cleric's facetiously ironic framing of it tries to recuperate feminine speech for comic, misogynistic purposes. Yet the two modes of "writing" are bound together: the illiterate women need the cleric to disseminate their knowledge, while he uses feminine discourse and the foundation of his own authorial project. After considering the content of the feminine "gospels" and how the work's structure associates gender problems with writing problems, I maintain that masculine and feminine modes of "writing" embody differing attitudes towards authority. I conclude that the cleric cannot subvert the women's feminist text completely to his own antifeminist purposes since he, as much as the women, functions as a source of comedy. The Quenouilles is not simply misogynistic (despite the traditional antifeminism it draws upon) but plural. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Springer Link website: https://link.springer.com/.]

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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1997.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00282677
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