Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities

By Jonathan Goldberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Spenser’s
Familiar
Letters

COLIN TO HOBBINOL The Januarye eclogue of Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender is filled with Colin Clout’s insistent complaint about the unresponsiveness of Rosalind. Not far from the close of this lament, the text exhibits an exorbitancy beyond its compulsive repetitiveness:

It is not Hobbinol, wherefore I plaine,
Albee my love he seeke with dayly suit:
His clownish gifts and curtsies I disdaine,
His kiddes, his cracknelles, and his early
fruit.

Ah foolish Hobbinol, thy gyfts bene vayne:
Colin them gives to Rosalind againe. (55–60)1

A gloss for line 57, provided by the marginal figure of E.K., seeks to establish the propriety of the entrance of Hobbinol onto the scene of Colin’s complaint: “His clownish gyfts: imitateth Virgils verse, Rusticus es Corydon, nec munera curat Alexis” (422). The reader is invited to open Virgil’s second eclogue to line 56, in which the shepherd Corydon addresses himself and scores the folly of his suit: his gifts have not won Alexis. “Ah foolish Hobbinol”: the line translates and transfers “rusticus es, Corydon” to Hobbinol, doubling the allusion, provoking exorbitant questions: not only the question of what Hobbinol’s love for Colin Clout is

-63-

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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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