Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gender Transgressions: Crossing the Normative Barrier in Old French Literature

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gender Transgressions: Crossing the Normative Barrier in Old French Literature

Article excerpt

Gender Transgressions: Crossing the Normative Barrier in Old French Literature, ed. Karen J. Taylor, Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 2064 (New York: Garland, 1998). xvi + 224 pp. ISBN 0-8153-2869-9. $44.00. This collection contains nine essays on the treatment of gender transgressions in a range of Old French texts. Its aim is to refute traditional assumptions of conservatism by illustrating some of the `multiple shades and subtleties of meaning' (p. ix) in medieval portrayals of gender. Gender transgression is interpreted in a number of ways in the study: topics considered include rape in Richars li Biaus (C. M. Jones), homosexuality in the Roman de la Rose (E. L. Friedrich), cross-dressing in romance and fabliaux (K. Busby and M. Szkilnik), sexual identity and transformation in Ide and Olive (R. …

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