Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 8124
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Keen , Catherine.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Sex and the city: desire, distance, and politco-erotic manoeuvres in early Italian verse
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Cities and Towns in Literature Eroticism Literature- Verse Personification
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 13- 14
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  • Abstract: This paper investigates the overlap between amorous and political themes in early Italian verse on the theme of lontananza. The poets considered use a politico-erotic language borrowed from feudal courtly society to figure their relationship not only to amorous experience, but also to political regimes; the city-state itself often appears in their lyrics as an idealized female personification. The paper asks what happens when this borrowed feudal terminology is re-politicized, in being applied to the very different world of the Italian republican city-state? The paper will focus on verse where city personifications occupy the position of a courtly female beloved, whom the poet addresses from an assumed position of separation (often from political exile). It will investigate the way that the city as feminine ‘body politic’ becomes a site of desire, shame, disguise, and violence, and is celebrated or repudiated by its excluded patriot-lovers in their verse. The paper will cover works from a period of about half a century (c.1290s-c.1340s), and will include consideration of lyrics by stilnovisti, including Guido Cavalcanti, Gianni Alfani, and Cino da Pistoia, alongside more satirical verse by writers including Pieraccio Tedaldi, Pietro Faitinelli, and Cecco Nuccoli, focusing on tracing developments in the way in which comparable material is treated from poet to poet. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Leeds
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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