Cover: Barbarolexis: Medieval Writing and Sexuality, from Harvard University PressCover: Barbarolexis in E-DITION

Barbarolexis

Medieval Writing and Sexuality

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674418127

Publication Date: 12/12/1989

261 pages

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Under the exacting standards of literary and religious propriety in the Middle Ages, it was both impossible and unseemly to speak directly of God. This prohibition led to an exuberant degree of poetic license, barbarolexis, in the treatment of all other matters—and the results can often strike the modern reader as pornographic. It is the working of this poetic license in a variety of texts from diverse countries and diverse periods that Alexandre Leupin describes in this highly original new book.

Leupin does not apply modern categories to medieval writing. He is working to recover the rhetorical and poetic doctrines of the Middle Ages and to see medieval writing in that light, on its own terms. The scope of his inquiry reaches from the fourth to the sixteenth century, transcending the delineations of many genres—saints’ lives, poetry, prose, novels, epics—and paying close attention to the symbolic codes of the era—theology, ethics, rhetoric, aesthetics. He brings to light arcane but crucial texts, including Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Poetria nova, La Vie de Saint Alexis, the fabliaux, Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae, and Richard de Fournival’s Bestiaires d’amours. The results make for lively reading, as Leupin brings medieval literature, often the province of the dry-as-dust scholar, into vivid relief. Medievalists, specialists in the sixteenth century and middle Latin, psychoanalysts, theologians, and students of the history of rhetoric will find that Barbarolexis richly repays their attention.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown, by Emily Remus, from Harvard University Press

Going Downtown

As a child in Chicago, Emily Remus was enchanted by the sights and sounds of its downtown. Here she tells how those early experiences influenced her in writing A Shoppers’ Paradise, a book about how women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.