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.
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 ParisJoyce Green MacDonald 2. The Will and Testamentary Eroticism in Shakespearean Drama Douglas Iain Clark3. Remembering to Forget: Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 35’ and Sigo’s "XXXV" Stephen Guy-Bray4. "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 Phares5. Exemplarity and Its Discontents in Michael Drayton’s Englands Heroical Epistles Andrew Fleck6. 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 QueeneGoran V. Stanivukovic8. False Muscle Memory in Marlowe and Nashe Robert Darcy9. Marlowe’s Helen and Erotics of Cultural MemoryJohn S. Garrison10. Strange Love: Funerary Erotics in Romeo and JulietMark Dahlquist11. "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 CleopatraJonathan Baldo 13. Desiring Memory in Spenser's Amoretti and The Faerie Queene or"Is there Sex in the Library of Memory?"Kyle Pivetti14. Spenser’s Erotic RefusalsSu Fang Ng15. "Despisèd straight": Shakespeare's Observation of Semantic Memory BiasIan F. MacInnes16. Hamlet without Sex: The Politics of Regenerate LossAmanda BaileyAfterword: "A Prescript Order of Life": Memory, Sexuality, Selfhood Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr.
From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.