This volume brings together two vibrant areas of Renaissance studies today: memory and sexuality. The contributors show that not only Shakespeare but also a broad range of his contemporaries were deeply interested in how memory and sexuality interact. Are erotic experiences heightened or deflated by the presence of memory? Can a sexual act be commemorative? Can an act of memory be eroticized? How do forms of romantic desire underwrite forms of memory? To answer such questions, these authors examine drama, poetry, and prose from both major authors and lesser-studied figures in the canon of Renaissance literature. Alongside a number of insightful readings, they show that sonnets enact a sexual exchange of memory; that epics of nationhood cannot help but eroticize their subjects; that the act of sex in Renaissance tragedy too often depends upon violence of the past. Memory, these scholars propose, re-shapes the concerns of queer and sexuality studies – including the unhistorical, the experience of desire, and the limits of the body. So too does the erotic revise the dominant trends of memory studies, from the rhetoric of the medieval memory arts to the formation of collective pasts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Erotics of Memory in Early Modern England John S. Garrison and Kyle Pivetti Part 1: Legacies of Desire 1. Intimate Histories: Desire, Genre, and the Trojan War in The Araygnement of Paris Joyce Green MacDonald 2. The Will and Testamentary Eroticism in Shakespearean Drama Douglas Iain Clark 3. Remembering to Forget: Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 35’ and Sigo’s "XXXV" Stephen Guy-Bray 4. "The stage is down, and Philomela’s choir is hushed from pricksong": Revising and (Re)membering in Middleton’s The Ghost of Lucrece Dee Anna Phares 5. Exemplarity and Its Discontents in Michael Drayton’s Englands Heroical Epistles Andrew Fleck 6. Guinevere’s Ghost: Spenser’s Response to Malory’s Erotics Kenneth Hodges Part 2: Bodies, Remember 7. The Gallery of Erotic Memory in The Faerie Queene Goran V. Stanivukovic 8. False Muscle Memory in Marlowe and Nashe Robert Darcy 9. Marlowe’s Helen and Erotics of Cultural Memory John S. Garrison 10. Strange Love: Funerary Erotics in Romeo and Juliet Mark Dahlquist 11. "The monument woos me": Necrophilia as Commemoration in Thomas Middleton’s The Lady’s Tragedy Heather Wicks Part 3: Intimate Refusals 12. Well-divided Dispositions: Distraction, Dying, and the Eroticism of Forgetting in Antony and Cleopatra Jonathan Baldo 13. Desiring Memory in Spenser's Amoretti and The Faerie Queene or "Is there Sex in the Library of Memory?" Kyle Pivetti 14. Spenser’s Erotic Refusals Su Fang Ng 15. "Despisèd straight": Shakespeare's Observation of Semantic Memory Bias Ian F. MacInnes 16. Hamlet without Sex: The Politics of Regenerate Loss Amanda Bailey Afterword: "A Prescript Order of
John Garrison is Associate Professor of English at Carroll University, USA. He is the author of Friendship and Queer Theory in the Renaissance (Routledge, 2014) and Glass (2015). His essays have appeared in Exemplaria, Literature Compass, Milton Quarterly, and Studies in Philology. He has held fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, Folger Shakespeare Library, and National Endowment for the Humanities.
Kyle Pivetti is Assistant Professor of English at Norwich University, USA. He is the author of Of Memory and Literary Form: Making the Early Modern Nation (2015). His essays have appeared in the journals Modern Philology and the edited collection Mapping Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World (2015).