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Beasts of Love: Richard de Fournival's Bestiaire d'amour and the Response
Jeanette Beer
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003

"The first gendered prose debate in a European vernacular, Le Bestiaire d'amour and subsequent Response constitute a clash of opposites: a medieval chancellor's erotic bestiary to a woman is countered by the woman's passionate protest against the cleric's misogynistic presuppositions. Jeanette Beer presents a close, linear reading of the two literary texts, examining the context that led to the love-bestiary's production in the thirteenth century, especially an influential version of the Physiologus by Pierre de Beauvais, the suggestiveness of the animal symbolism, and the aftermath of the debate. In her exploration of Le Bestiaire d'amour and the Response, Beer analyzes the disparity of their sexual, philosophical, and theological orientations, and considers, animal by animal, this gendered duelling of the two bestiaries, the symbolism of the one calqued upon the symbolism of the other." - publisher

240 p., 8 halftones, bibliography, index, index of animals

Language: English

ISBN: 0-8020-3612-0; LC: PQ1461.F64B43 2003; DDC: 844'.1
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