Birthing Bodies in Early Modern France: Stories of Gender by Kirk D. Read

By Kirk D. Read

The pregnant, birthing, and nurturing physique is a ordinary topos in early sleek French literature. Such our bodies, usually metaphors for concerns and anxieties acquiring to the gendered keep watch over of social and political associations, bought a lot in their descriptive strength from contemporaneous scientific and medical discourse. during this examine, Kirk learn brings jointly literary and clinical texts that characterize a variety of perspectives, from lyric poets, satirists and polemicists, to midwives and surgeons, all of whom discover the preferred 16th- and early seventeenth-century narratives of delivery in France. even though the rhetoric of birthing was once commonly used, thoughts and negotiations depended upon intercourse and gender; this research considers the male, lady, and hermaphroditic adventure, providing either an research of women's stories to be certain, but in addition starting onto the views of non-female birthers and their position within the social and political weather of early smooth France. The writers explored comprise Rabelais, Madeleine and Catherine Des Roches, Louise Boursier, Pierre de Ronsard, Pierre Boaistuau and Jacques Duval. learn additionally explores the results of the metaphorical use of replica, reminiscent of the presentation of literary paintings as offspring and the poet/mentor dating as that of a suckling baby. Foregrounded within the research are the questions of what it skill for girls to embody organic and literary copy and the way male appropriation of the birthing physique impacts the project of constructing new literary traditions. in addition, by means of exploring the circumstances of indeterminate birthing entities and the social anxiousness that informs them, learn complicates the binarisms at paintings within the vexed terrain of sexuality, intercourse, and gender during this interval. eventually, learn considers how the narrative of delivery produces old conceptions of identification, authority, and gender.

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Extra info for Birthing Bodies in Early Modern France: Stories of Gender and Reproduction

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Montague Summers (New York, 1971), p. 66.  M. Le Roux de Lincy outlines the literary and historical context of lying-in narratives fairly extensively. See his introduction to the 1855 edition of the caquets, edited by M. Edouard Fournier.  As I investigate this trope of the cuckold, I must recognize David P. LaGuardia’s work, Intertextual Masculinity in French Renaissance Literature (Aldershot, 2008), which, through a close investigation of three exemplary texts, treats the beleaguered male spouse as “an embodiment of a particular type of historically-contingent masculinity that is an essential element of late-medieval and Renaissance culture” (2).

160–88; Thomas Laqueur’s Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA, 1990); and Constance Jordan’s Renaissance Feminism: Literary Texts and Political Models (Ithaca, 1990). See also Evelyne Berriot-Salvadore, Un Corps, un Destin: La femme dans la medicine de la Renaissance (Paris, 1993), pp. 23–31. 12 In a somewhat complicated progression of events occasioned by the hybrid nature of the “final” Recueil, the presenter of the sixth visitation of the accouchée is conceived of as a woman.

Edouard Fournier with introduction by M. Le Roux de Lincy (Paris, 1855); and an edition of the second caquet or après-disnee, in La Seconde après-dînée du caquet de l’accouchée et autres facéties du temps de Louis XIII, ed. Alain Mercier (Paris, 2003).  A brief note about the edition of the caquets to which this reading refers: As noted, the caquets were produced in installments throughout the year 1622. Opinion is divided over the uniformity of the authorship, but a certain fidelity to the conceit of the spying scribe and gossips gathered around the childbed is quite apparent.

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