Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities

By Jonathan Goldberg | Go to book overview

PREFACE

SODOMETRIE is a synonym for sodomy current in English from around 1540 to around 1650, the Oxford English Dictionary notes. The word has been chosen to title this book not only because of its historical pertinence to the Renaissance texts to be discussed, but also for its nonce-word suggestiveness, as if sodomy were a relational term, a measure whose geometry we do not know, whose (a)symmetries we are to explore. The OED pronounces the word obsolete, but its suggestiveness is not historically confined. The feel of the word points to the procedures in the pages that follow, where what sodomy is—in those texts or now—can be delivered only through what is said (or what is not), through slippages capable of being mobilized in more than one direction. In those respects, the passage cited above from The Anatomie of Abuses (1583) may serve as an initial example. A dialogue ostensibly addressed to questions about improprieties of dress (a “contagious infection of Pride in Apparell” [B8r]) lights upon the word Sodometrie to do double work, at the least. Philoponus responds to Spudeus’s claim that other nations have been as extravagant as the English in their dress by labeling his claim a sign of the “Sodometrie” of those who make such a claim. At once, the word Sodometrie serves to impugn their customs and their arguments; it names the truth of their falseness, the “visour, or cloke” in which they apparel their false apparel. “Sodometrie” is the word to reveal the truth, but it is also the word for all that is wrong in their behavior, their thinking,

-xv-

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Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Preface xv
  • Chapter 1- Intro- Duction ‘That Utterly Confused Category’ 1
  • Part One 27
  • Chapter 2- The Making of Courtly Makers 29
  • Chapter 3- Spenser’s Familiar Letters 63
  • Part Two 103
  • Chapter 4- The Transveftite Stage- More on the Case of Chriftopher Marlowe 105
  • Chapter 5- De­ Siring Hal 145
  • Part Three 177
  • Chapter 6- Dis­ Covering America 179
  • Chapter 7- Bradford’s ‘Ancient Members’ & ‘A Case of Buggery… Amongft Them’ 223
  • Chapter 8- Tailpiece Frome William Bradford to William Buckley 247
  • Reference Matter 251
  • Notes 253
  • Index 289
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