Gender, Rhetoric, and Print Culture in French Renaissance by Floyd Gray

By Floyd Gray

Floyd grey explores how the therapy of arguable topics in French Renaissance writing used to be stricken by rhetorical conventions and the industrial requisites of an increasing publishing undefined. targeting quite a lot of discourses on gender issues--misogynist, feminist, autobiographical, gay and medical--Gray finds the level to which those marginalized texts replicate literary matters instead of social truth. His new readings of Rabelais, Montaigne, Louise Lab? and others, problem the inherent anachronism of feedback that fails to take account of the cultural context of the interval.

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If written by a male posing as a female, knowing that the intended audience would be primarily masculine, then it would acquire a radically new con®guration, shaped by culturally programmed expectations and reactions. 1 Read as self-conscious exercises in male fantasy in favor of men's sexuality and to their inevitable advantage, these stories become a kind of injoke (orchestrated perhaps, as was probably Rabelais's Pantagruel, by an editor's commercial instincts) which a sixteenth-century public, essentially masculine, would have had no dif®culty in recognizing and appreciating as such.

At this point, he abandons medicine for syllogism, stating that since cuckoldry is, by de®nition, something that can beset a man only after marriage, then one can say of any married man that he is, was, will be, or may be cuckolded. 26 Gender, rhetoric, and print culture in French Renaissance writing The may be with which he concludes his reasoning simply restores Panurge's problem to the realm of probability, reviving all of his former uncertainty and despair. Moreover, as a corollary to his contention that cuckoldry is the hypothetical complement of every marriage, Rondibilis proceeds to locate its cause in the inconstant nature of women, rehearsing in the process all of the most prominent antifeminist commonplaces: ``Quand je diz femme, je diz un sexe tant fragil, tant variable, tant muable, tant inconstant et imperfaict que Nature me semble (parlant en tout honneur et reverence) s'estre esguareÂe de ce bon sens par lequel elle avait creÂe et forme toutes choses, quand elle a basty la femme .

If the complete meaning of a story is not inherent in its structure or words, then it may depend also on narrative strategy and reader perception. Thus a story proclaiming and extolling feminine sexual freedom would be read differently according as it was written by a male or female author and directed towards a male or female audience. If written by a male posing as a female, knowing that the intended audience would be primarily masculine, then it would acquire a radically new con®guration, shaped by culturally programmed expectations and reactions.

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