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Between Meretrix and Pute: The Polemical Uses of Gender in the Querelle du Roman de la Rose

Between Meretrix and Pute: The Polemical Uses of Gender in the Querelle du Roman de la Rose <p>Abstract:</p><p>The literary debate known as the “<i>querelle du</i> Roman de la Rose” marks a critical moment in the centuries-long discussion on the merits of the thirteenth-century <i>Rose</i>. It also marks an important stage in Christine de Pizan’s efforts to gain authority in a masculine writing world, and to combat misogyny; as such, it participates in another centuries-long debate, that of the <i>querelle des femmes</i>. In this paper, I consider how an understanding the two <i>querelles</i> can be mutually informing, through an examination of the polemical uses of gender in the <i>querelle</i> of the <i>Rose</i>. What is the role of gender in the construction of the heated and at times inflammatory claims in this polemical debate? How are its declarations of outright hostility to be read? What is the value of <i>ad hominem</i> and, in this case, <i>ad feminam</i> attack? Far from being transparent declarations of impassioned emotion, these expressions constitute layered, coded performances of status and exclusion. Misogynist tropes in the <i>querelle</i> are more than rhetorical set pieces, and the ways they are employed reveal the contours of pre-modern thinking about gender and public discourse. I consider the central role of gender in the escalation of the terms of this polemic, and the ways in which gender-based polemic is intimately tied to emerging notions of public and private.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Between Meretrix and Pute: The Polemical Uses of Gender in the Querelle du Roman de la Rose

French Forum , Volume 42 (3) – Aug 17, 2018

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 French Forum, Inc.
ISSN
1534-1836

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>The literary debate known as the “<i>querelle du</i> Roman de la Rose” marks a critical moment in the centuries-long discussion on the merits of the thirteenth-century <i>Rose</i>. It also marks an important stage in Christine de Pizan’s efforts to gain authority in a masculine writing world, and to combat misogyny; as such, it participates in another centuries-long debate, that of the <i>querelle des femmes</i>. In this paper, I consider how an understanding the two <i>querelles</i> can be mutually informing, through an examination of the polemical uses of gender in the <i>querelle</i> of the <i>Rose</i>. What is the role of gender in the construction of the heated and at times inflammatory claims in this polemical debate? How are its declarations of outright hostility to be read? What is the value of <i>ad hominem</i> and, in this case, <i>ad feminam</i> attack? Far from being transparent declarations of impassioned emotion, these expressions constitute layered, coded performances of status and exclusion. Misogynist tropes in the <i>querelle</i> are more than rhetorical set pieces, and the ways they are employed reveal the contours of pre-modern thinking about gender and public discourse. I consider the central role of gender in the escalation of the terms of this polemic, and the ways in which gender-based polemic is intimately tied to emerging notions of public and private.</p>

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Aug 17, 2018

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