Spiritual Erotics: From Plato’s Symposium to Sade’s La Philosophie dans le boudoir

  • Robert S. Sturges

Abstract

Philosophers and other writers obviously continued to address the question of friendship after the twelfth century, and often did so with particular reference to Plato and Socrates; Montaigne is a prime example. However, after the important work of Aelred and his adaptors, they did so less frequently, and less influentially, in the dialogue form.1 The specific tradition examined in the preceding chapter—the dialogue tradition initiated by Plato’s Lysis—was thus most influential in Roman and medieval culture. Western European intellectuals of the early modern period, as classical Greek became a more important focus of their education, and as ancient Greek texts became more widely available in printed editions, regained direct access to Plato’s works (as distinct from the indirect transmission of his ideas by Latin authors such as Cicero), and their preference for those Platonic works most amenable to neoplatonic Christianization established certain of the dialogues—notably the Symposium and the Republic—as Plato’s masterpieces, a valuation still widely accepted.

Keywords

Clay Straw Defend Stim 214c 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    On friendship, see Michel de Montaigne, “De l’amitié,” in Essais, ed. Maurice Rat, 2 vols. (Paris: Garnier, 1962), 1, pp. 197–212. Montaigne’s low opinion of the Platonic dialogue form can be found in “Des livres,” 2, pp. 447–462, at p. 455.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Other editors, translators, and commentators who attempt this task in English, besides Allen, include R. G. Bury, The Symposium of Plato, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, Eng.: W. Heffer and Sons, Ltd., 1973)Google Scholar
  3. Stanley Rosen, Plato’s Symposium (1968; repr. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 1999)Google Scholar
  4. Kenneth Dover, Plato: Symposium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980)Google Scholar
  5. William S. Cobb, The Symposium and the Phaedrus: Plato’s Erotic Dialogues (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), pp. 61–84.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    On the dramatic frame, see Peter H. von Blanckenhagen, “Stage and Actors in Plato’s Symposium,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 33 (1992): 51–68.Google Scholar
  7. On Plato’s treatment of the institution of the symposium in his other dialogues, see Manuela Tecusan, “Logos sympotikos: Patterns of the Irrational in Philosophical Drinking: Plato Outside the Symposium,” in Sympotica, ed. Oswyn Murray (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990), pp. 238–260.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    English quotations of the Symposium are from Allen’s translation, cited by page and Stephanus numbers; Greek citations follow Dover’s edition. On the question of eros and immortality, see M. Dyson, “Immortality and Procreation in Plato’s Symposium,” Antichthon 20 (1986): 59–72.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    William A. Johnson, “Dramatic Frame and Philosophical Idea in Plato,” American Journal of Philology 119 (1998): 577–598, expresses the opposite view of the Symposium (pp. 581–583): he claims that the indirection of the narrative frame suggests a distance between the written dialogue and philosophical discourse, as well as a distance between the perceptible and the ideal worlds; while this may be true of the other speeches, it is demonstrably not true of Diotima’s.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Allen, Symposium, pp. 7–8. For a fuller consideration of eros as primarily a destructive natural force in need of discipline and control, see Bruce Thornton, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    See David Konstan and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, “Eryximachus’ Speech in the SymposiumApeiron 16 (1982): 40–46, for a consideration of the speech’s comments on similarity and difference in the context of contemporary medical opinion.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 19.
    See, for example, concerning the earlier speeches’ influence on the later ones, Robert Nola, “On Some Neglected Minor Speakers in Plato’s Symposium: Phaedrus and Pausanias,” Prudentia 22 (1990): 54–73.Google Scholar
  13. 20.
    Paul W Ludwig, “Politics and Eros in Aristophanes’ Speech: ‘Symposium’ 191E–192A and the Comedies,” American Journal of Philology 117 (1996): 537–562 also gives a positive valuation to Aristophanes’ speech, suggesting the reason why “Plato wrote for Aristophanes the most affecting speech in the dialogue: so that the majority of us would eschew restless striving in favor of settling down with someone whom eros tells us is our other half,” p. 561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 22.
    See David Halperin’s essay “Why Is Diotima a Woman?” in his One Hundred-Years of Homosexuality and Other Essays on Greek Love (New York: 1990), pp. 113–151, for an influential discussion of these issues;Google Scholar
  15. see also Andrea Nye, “Irigaray and Diotima at Plato’s Symposium,” in Feminist Interpretations of Plato, ed. Nancy Tuana (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1994), pp. 197–215.Google Scholar
  16. But for readings that attempt to recuperate Diotima’s speech for feminism, cf. Miglena Nikolchina, “The Feminine Erotic and the Paternal Legacy: Revisiting Plato’s SymposiumParagraph 16 (1993): 239–260, which argues that Diotima’s speech remains feminine; and see Luce Irigaray, “Sorcerer Love: A Reading of Plato’s Symposium, Diotima’s Speech,” trans. Eleanor H. Kuykendall, in Feminist Interpretations of Plato, pp. 181–195;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Barbara Freeman, “Irigaray at the Symposium: Speaking Otherwise,” Oxford Literary Review 8 (1986): 170–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 23.
    Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality, vol. 2, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Pantheon, 1985), pp. 72–77, at p. 77.Google Scholar
  19. See also Alexander Nehamas, The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    Allen, (Symposium, p. 156, n. 249) notes that this comparison is also a direct reference to the earlier speech of Aristophanes, 191a and 192b–d— Aristophanes’ speech continues to haunt Socrates’ as it continues to haunt later discussions of the Symposium. See also the classic critique of Platonic love by Gregory Vlastos, “The Individual as an Object of Love in Plato,” in his Platonic Studies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973, repr. 1981), pp. 3–42,Google Scholar
  21. and the critique of Vlastos by Donald Levy, “The Definition of Love in Plato’s SymposiumJournal of the History of Ideas 40 (1979): 285–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 28.
    Cf. Ludwig C. H. Chen, “Knowledge and Beauty in Plato’s Symposium,” Classical Quarterly 33 (1983): 66–74, which suggests that the detachment of the soul from the body need not be as radical here as in other middle-period dialogues such as the Phaedo. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 29.
    Halperin, “Why Is Diotima a Woman?” See also Dover, Plato: Symposium, pp. 136–137. On the exclusion of women in the Symposium, see Page DuBois, Sappho Is Burning (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 77–97.Google Scholar
  24. 32.
    Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, “Socrates the Beautiful,” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 130 (2000): 261–285 explores the erastes/eromenos role reversals, suggesting that Socrates and Alcibiades both take both roles reciprocally.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 33.
    Foucault, Use, p. 20. Cf. Dover, Plato: Symposium, pp. 164–165. Nehamas, Art, finds an ironic ambiguity in Socrates’ refusal of Alcibiades, pp. 59–63. Martha C. Nussbaum’s reading in “The Speech of Alcibiades: A Reading of Plato’s ‘Symposium,’ ” Philosophy and Literature 3 (1979): 131–172 is similar to mine: “We see now that philosophy is not fully human; but we are terrified of our humanity and what it leads to,” p. 168;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. see also Dominic Scott, “Socrates and Alcibiades in the SymposiumHermathena 168 (2000): 25–37. (A critique of Nussbaum may be found in A. W. Price, “Martha Nussbaum’s Symposium” Ancient Philosophy 11 (1991): 285–299).Google Scholar
  27. Aso critical of Socrates’ avowed erotics is C. D. C. Reeve, “Telling the Truth About Love,” Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 8 (1994 for 1992): 89–114. On the reader’s identification with Alcibiades,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. see also Elizabeth Belfiore, “Dialectic with the Reader in Plato’s SymposiumMaia 36 (1984): 137–149.Google Scholar
  29. More critical of Alcibiadean erotics are Gary Alan Scott and William A. Welton, “An Overlooked Motive in Alcibiades’ Symposium Speech,” Interpretation 24 (1996–1997): 67–84, which explores its political consequences;Google Scholar
  30. 34.
    Cf. J. L. Penwill, “Men in Love: Aspects of Plato’s Symposium,” Ramus 7 (1978): 143–175, which suggests that Socrates detaches his love from human experience and that it allows no fruitful relationship with human beauty, a reading I would dispute.Google Scholar
  31. 37.
    On the date of Xenophon’s Symposium in relation to Plato’s, see K. J. Dover, “The Date of Plato’s Symposium,” Phronesis 10 (1965): 2–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 41.
    On the tone of this text, see Bernhard Huss, “The Dancing Sokrates and the Laughing Xenophon, or the Other ‘Symposium,’” American Journal of Philology 120 (1999): 381–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 43.
    On this point, see Clifford Hindley, “Xenophon on Male Love,” Classical Quarterly 49 (1999): 74–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 45.
    Michel Foucault, The Care of the Self: The History of Sexuality, vol. 3, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1986).Google Scholar
  35. 57.
    Several such poems are printed and discussed by John Boswell in his Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 254–261, 381–398. Boswell understands them as evidence of a flourishing medieval “homosexual” subculture, though they ultimately tend to favor male–female love over male–male.Google Scholar
  36. 58.
    Alan of Lille, Plaint of Nature, trans. James J. Sheridan, Mediaeval Sources in Translation 26 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980), Metre 1, pp. 67–68. Latin citations are drawn from “Alan of Lille, De Planctu naturae,” ed. Nikolaus Häring, Studi Medievali 19 (1978): 797–879, metrum primum, ll.15–20, p. 806. On the medieval sexual/grammatical metaphor, see John A. Alford, “The Medieval Grammatical Metaphor: A Survey of Its Use in the Middle Ages,” Speculum 57 (1982): 728–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. and Jan Ziolkowski, Alan of Lille’s Grammar of Sex: The Meaning of Grammar to a Twelfth-Century Intellectual, Speculum Anniversary Monographs 10 (Cambridge, MA: The Medieval Academy of America, 1985). Boswell discusses Alan of Lille in the context of medieval views of male–male desire, pp. 310–311. More recent readings of Alan of Lille in this context include Alexandre Leupin, “The Hermaphrodite: Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae” in his Barbarolexis: Medieval Writing and Sexuality, trans. Kate M. Cooper (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 59–78;Google Scholar
  38. Leonard Barkan, Transuming Passion: Ganymede and the Erotics of Humanism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), pp. 50–53Google Scholar
  39. Elizabeth Pittenger, “Explicit Ink,” in Premodern Sexualities, ed. Louise Fradenburg and Carla Freccero (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 223–242;Google Scholar
  40. Mark D. Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), pp. 61–91Google Scholar
  41. and Elizabeth B. Keiser, Courtly Desire and Medieval Homophobia: The Legitimation of Sexual Pleasure in Cleanness and Its Contexts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 74–86.Google Scholar
  42. 63.
    Virginia Cox, The Renaissance Dialogue: Literary Dialogue in its Social and Political Contexts, Castiglione to Galileo (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 2–4. She finds a contemporary statement of this distinction in Sforza Pallavicino, Trattato dello stile e del dialogo (Rome: 1662) (Cox, p. 115, n. 12). See also David Simpson’s helpful essay “Hume’s Intimate Voices and the Method of Dialogue,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 21, no.1 (1979): 68–72, which Cox cites as well. Cox also suggests that the “dia-logical” model becomes more important in the less authoritative, more insistently questioning, French Enlightenment, pp. 3–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. On early modern theories of dialogue, see also Donald Gilman, “Theories of Dialogue,” in The Dialogue in Early Modern France, 1547–1630: Art and Argument, ed. Colette H. Winn (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1993), pp. 7–76.Google Scholar
  44. 64.
    Jon R. Snyder, Writing the Scene of Speaking: Theories of Dialogue in the Late Italian Renaissance (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989), p. 213. This development is traced throughout Snyder’s book; see also Cox’s latter chapters, pp. 61–113.Google Scholar
  45. On Sperone Speroni’s theorization of the “open” dialogue as a genre, see Olga Zorzi Pugliese, “Sperone Speroni and the Labyrinthine Discourse of Renaissance Dialogue,” in Imagining Culture: Essays in Early Modern History and Literature, ed. Jonathan Hart (New York: Garland, 1996), pp. 57–72. On the Renaissance dialogue conceived as primarily heuristicGoogle Scholar
  46. see Marta Spranzi Zuber, “Dialogue as a ‘Road to Truth’: a Renaissance View,” in Dialoganalyse, VI: Referate der 6. Arbeitsagung, Prag 1996, ed. Svetla Cmejrková et al. (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1998), pp. 85–90.Google Scholar
  47. 68.
    A more complete survey of the Ficino’s process of composing and publishing the Commentary may be found in Sears Jayne’s Introduction to Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love, trans. Sears Jayne, 2nd. rev. ed. (Dallas: Spring Publications, Inc., 1985), pp. 3–4. Quotations from this translation will be cited by speech, chapter, and page numbers in the text, followed by page citations of the Latin edition: Marsile Ficin, Commentaire sur le Banquet de Platon, ed. Raymond Marcel (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1956). A new five-volume edition and English translation of Marsilio Ficino, Platonic Theology, ed. James Hankins with William Bowen, trans. Michael J. B. Allen with John Warden, I Tatti Renaissance Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001–) is currently being published.Google Scholar
  48. 69.
    On the construction and regulation of male–male desire in early modern Italy, see the books by Michael Rocke and Guido Ruggiero cited below, n. 88 of this chapter; see also James M. Saslow, “Homosexuality in the Renaissance: Behavior, Identity, and Artistic Expression,” in Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, ed. Martin Bauml Duberman, Martha Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Jr. (New York: NAL, 1989), pp. 90–105,Google Scholar
  49. as well as the syntheses in David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 305–310Google Scholar
  50. and in Byrne Fone, Homophobia: A History (New York: Metropolitan, 2000), pp. 193–200;Google Scholar
  51. for specifically Platonic and neoplatonic influences, see Barkan; James M. Saslow, Ganymede in the Renaissance: Homosexuality in Art and Society (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986)Google Scholar
  52. Giovanni Dall’Orto, “‘Socratic Love’ as a disguise for Same-Sex Love in the Italian Renaissance,” in The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, ed. Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1989), pp. 33–65.Google Scholar
  53. 71.
    Paul Richard Blum, “Methoden und Motive der Platointerpretation bei Marsilio Ficino,” in Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Sanctandreani: Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies, ed. I. D. McFarlane (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1986), pp. 119–126, explores the relationship between Plato’s and Ficino’s texts, concluding that Ficino derived his interpretation—whether right or wrong— directly from the Symposium. Google Scholar
  54. See also Raffaele Riccio, “Per un’analisi del Simposio Platonica e el Convito o ver’ Dialogo d’amore di M. Ficino,” Rivista di estetica 34–35.47 (1994–1995): 17–35Google Scholar
  55. Laura Westra, “Love and Beauty in Ficino and Plotinus,” in Ficino and Renaissance Neoplatonism, ed. Konrad Eisenbichler and Olga Zorzi Pugliese (Toronto: Dovehouse, 1986), pp. 175–187 shows how the Christian distrust of the body influenced Ficino’s doctrine of love.Google Scholar
  56. 73.
    Ibid. See also Paul Oskar Kristeller, The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1964), pp. 276–288.Google Scholar
  57. 76.
    See, for example, Ficino, Commentary, II.8, pp. 56–57; pp. 157–158; III.2, p. 65; p. 162; V.4, p. 90; p. 185. On love as the resolution of difference, see Bertrand Schefer, “L’Amour des opposés: Remarques sur Marsile Ficin et Domenico Ghirlandaio,” Revue des études Italiennes 44.1–2 (January–June, 1998): 97–105.Google Scholar
  58. 79.
    Reginald Hyatte, “The Visual Spirits’ and Body-Soul Mediation: Socratic Love in Marsilio Ficino’s De amore,” Rinascimento 33 (1993): 213–222 argues convincingly that one of the difficulties in Ficino’s approach is that “his strategy for representing the … operations of sublime male-to-male Socratic love is to illustrate in detail what it is not—homosexual lust and love-madness,” p. 213.Google Scholar
  59. 82.
    Leone Ebreo [Jehudah Abarbanel], Dialoghi d’amore, ed. Santino Caramella (Bari: Laterza, 1929); The Philosophy of Love, trans. F. Friedeberg-Siely and Jean H. Barnes (London: Soncino, 1937);Google Scholar
  60. Pietro Bembo, Gli Asolani, ed. Giorgio Dilemmi (Florence: Presso l’Accademia della Crusca, 1991); Gli Asolani, trans. Rudolf B. Gottfried (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1954);Google Scholar
  61. Baldesar Castiglione, Il libro del Cortegiano, ed. Walter Barberis (Turin: Einaudi, 1998)Google Scholar
  62. Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier: The Singleton Translation, trans. Charles S. Singleton, ed. Edgar Mayhew, ed. Daniel Javitch (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002)Google Scholar
  63. Sperone Speroni, Dialogo d’amore, in Trattatisti del Cinquecento ed. Mario Pozzi (Milan and Naples: Ricciardi, 1978) I, pp. 511–563. Ebreo does not mention male–male desire even as a possibility, while Speroni, following Ficino, allows only a purely spiritual or intellectual love between men.Google Scholar
  64. On Speroni’s dialogues, see Francesco Bruni, “Sperone Speroni e l’Accademia degli Infiammati,” Filologia e letteratura 13 (1967): 24–71. Like Leone Ebreo, Bembo assumes a male–female model of love.Google Scholar
  65. 83.
    Leone Ebreo insists on the sensual aspect of love particularly in the first of the dialogues, “D’amore e desiderio,” that comprise the Dialoghi d’amore: see pp. 48–56; Philosophy of Love, pp. 52–62. Bembo, too, devotes the early portions of Gli Asolani (Books I and II) to earthly love, but turns to a neoplatonic, spiritual model in Book III. See also the exchange between Tullia and Molza on the subject of sensual love in Speroni’s Dialogo d’amore, pp. 529–534. On spiritual love in Ficino and Bembo, see Giulio Vallese, “La filosofia dell’amore nel Rinascimento: Dal Ficino al Bembo,” Le Parole e le idee 6 (1964): 15–30.Google Scholar
  66. 87.
    Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Il libro dei sogni, in his Scritti sulle arti, ed. Roberto Paolo Ciardi, 2 vols. (Florence: Marchi & Bertolli, 1973), vol. 1, pp. 1–240Google Scholar
  67. Antonio Vignali, La cazzaria, ed. Pasquale Stoppelli (Rome: Edizioni dell’Elephante, 1984); La Cazzaria: The Book of the Prick, ed. and trans. Ian Frederick Moulton (New York: Routledge, 2003);Google Scholar
  68. Tullia d’Aragona, Dialogo della infinità d’amore, in Trattati d’amore del Cinquecento, ed. Giuseppe Zonta (1912; repr. Bari: Laterza, 1975), pp. 185–248;Google Scholar
  69. Antonio Rocco, L’Alcibiade fanciullo a scola, ed. Laura Coci (Rome: Salerno Editrice, 1988). The most famous, or infamous, erotic dialogues of the Italian Renaissance, Pietro Aretino’s Ragionamenti (1534–1536), fall outside the scope of the present study, as they belong to a Boccaccian (and, in Cox’s terms, Lucianic) rather than a Platonic tradition and, like the dialogues of Ficino’s followers, all but ignore male–male desire.Google Scholar
  70. See Pietro Aretino, Sei giornate, ed. Giovanni Aquilecchia (Bari: Laterza, 1969); Aretino’s Dialogues, trans. Raymond Rosenthal (New York: Stein and Day, 1971, repr. New York: Ballantine, 1973).Google Scholar
  71. 88.
    For the age differentials in Florence, see Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 113–117; for Venice,Google Scholar
  72. see Guido Ruggiero, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), pp. 123–124.Google Scholar
  73. 93.
    On the use of the term kinaidos to police male erotic behavior in ancient Athenian society, see John J. Winkler, “Laying Down the Law: The Oversight of Men’s Sexual behavior in Classical Athens,” in his The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece (New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 45–70.Google Scholar
  74. For a recent discussion of kinaidos and the related concept katapugon, see James N. Davidson, Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens (New York: St. Martins Press, 1997), pp. 167–182. On the Roman cinaedus, see Williams, Roman Homosexuality pp. 175–178Google Scholar
  75. John R. Clarke, Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.–A.D. 250 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 84–85, 234–235. All these discussions make it clear that Singleton’s translation of cinaedus as “satyrs” (Castiglione, p. 116, n. 6) is excessively coy.Google Scholar
  76. 94.
    There are a number of studies of the jokes in The Book of the Courtier most interesting for our purposes is Robert Grudin, “Renaissance Laughter: The Jests in Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano,” Neophilologus 58 (1974): 199–204, which argues that the jokes are a way of dealing with the moral depravity of contemporary Italy. If Grudin is correct, sodomy may thus be understood as an aspect of that depravity.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Cf. on joking as a form of social control more generally Giuseppe Falvo, “The Art of ‘Facezie’ in Castiglione’s Cortegiano,” in Interpreting the Italian Renaissance: Literary Perspectives, ed. Antonio Toscano (Stony Brook, NY: Forum Italicum, 1991), pp. 127–137Google Scholar
  78. Robert S. Dombroski, “A Note on Jokes and their Relation to the Perfect Courtier,” Italiana 9 (2000): 132–137.Google Scholar
  79. 95.
    On Castiglione’s debt to Bembo, see Piero Floriani, Bembo e Castiglione: Studi sul classicismo del Cinquecento (Rome: Bulzoni, 1976), pp. 169–186. On Bembo’s “closed” dialogue form, see Olga Zorzi Pugliese, “Bembo and the ‘Dialogic’ Path of Love,” in Italiana 1988: Selected Papers fom the Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, November 18–20, 1988, Monterey, California, ed. Albert N. Mancini, Paolo A. Giordano, and Anthony J. Tamburri (River Forest, IL: Rosary College, 1990), pp. 109–119f.Google Scholar
  80. 96.
    But cf. Cinzia di Giulio, “La mimesi dell’amore nel CortegianoRomance Notes 36 (1996): 253–260, which argues that Castiglione’s vision of love is more realistic and corporeal than is usually believed.Google Scholar
  81. 97.
    On this multivoiced dialogism of The Book of the Courtier, see Roland Galle, “Dialogform und Menschenbild in Castigliones Il libro del Cortegiano,” Neohelicon 17.1 (1990): 233–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Silke Segler-Messner, “Der Dialog als Raum spielerischer Selbstenfaltung: Baldessar Castiglione, Stefano Guazzo, Moderata Fonte,” in Spielwelten: Performanz und Inszenierunng in der Renaissance ed. Klaus W. Hempfer and Helmut Pfeiffer (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2002), pp. 47–66, at pp. 50–55.,Google Scholar
  83. 98.
    But cf. Lawrence Lipking, “The Dialectic of Il Cortegiano,” PMLA 81 (1966): 355–362, for an argument that the text remains dialogical throughout because of its “unresolved reciprocation between ideas and life,” p. 362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 99.
    On Tullia d’Aragona’s potentially disruptive presence in Speroni’s dialogue, see Robert Buranello, “Figura meretricis: Tullia d’Aragona in Sperone Speroni’s Dialogo d’amore,” Spunti e Ricerche 15 (2000): 53–68.Google Scholar
  85. On her own dialogical relationship to these earlier dialogues, especially in terms of the addition of an explicitly feminine voice to them, see Janet Smarr, “A Dialogue of Dialogues: Tullia dAragona and Sperone Speroni,” Modern Language Notes 113 (1998): 204–212Google Scholar
  86. Ann Rosalind Jones, “Enabling Sites and Gender Difference: Reading City Women with Men,” Women’s Studies 19.2 (1991): 239–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 102.
    See p. 110 of Russell’s and Merry’s translation, and Russell’s n. 81, as well as p. 57, n. 8. The source for this information is Umberto Pirotti, Benedetto Varchi e la cultura del suo tempo (Florence: Olschki, 1971), pp. 14–15, 28–29, but this entire section of Pirotti’s book, pp. 1–63, is of interest.Google Scholar
  88. 105.
    See La Cazzaria, trans. Moulton, pp. 125–164. For an analysis of the allegory, see Paula Findlen, “Humanism, Politics, and Pornography in Renaissance Italy,” in The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500–1800, ed. Lynn Hunt (New York: Zone, 1993), pp. 49–108, at pp. 86–94;Google Scholar
  89. Ian Frederick Moulton, “Bawdy Politic: Renaissance Republicanism and the Discourse of Pricks,” in Opening the Borders: Inclusivity and Early Modern Studies, Essays in Honor of James V. Mirollo, ed. Peter C. Herman (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1999), pp. 255–242. See also Moulton’s introduction to his translation of La Cazzaria, pp. 1–70.Google Scholar
  90. 107.
    On this group see, in addition to Moulton’s texts, Lolita Petracchi Constantini, L’Accademia degli Intronati di Siena e una sua commedia (Siena: Editrice d’Arte “La Diana,” 1928).Google Scholar
  91. 110.
    Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender From the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  92. 115.
    Rocke, Forbidden Friendships, p. 94, gives 1630 as an approximate date of composition; Maria Dimitrakis, in her Preface to a recent revision of the anonymous nineteenth-century French translation, dates the publication to 1651: Antonio Rocco, Pour convaincre Alcibiade (Paris: NiL, 1999), p. 7.Google Scholar
  93. 120.
    See Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 214–218.Google Scholar
  94. 121.
    See, for example, the English Restoration play attributed to Lord Rochester, entitled The Farce of Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, in Rochester: Complete Poems and Plays, ed. Paddy Lyons (London: J. M. Dent, 1993), pp. 125–154.Google Scholar
  95. 122.
    Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: Notes Towards an Investigation,” in his Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971, repr. 1991), pp. 85–126.Google Scholar
  96. 123.
    Gramsci’s observations on ideology can be found throughout his Prison Notebooks; for one useful formulation, see Antonio Gramsci, “Cultural topics. Ideological Material,” in his Prison Notebooks, vol. 2, ed. and trans. Joseph A. Buttigieg (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), Notebook 4, §49, pp. 52–53.Google Scholar
  97. 125.
    On the rhetorical aspect of Rocco’s dialogue, see Philippe-Joseph Salazar, “Sex and Rhetoric: An Assessment of Rocco’s Alcibiade,” Studi d’italianistica nell’Africa australe 12.2 (1999): 5–19.Google Scholar
  98. 126.
    On the reception and afterlife of Rocco’s book, see Wolfram Setz, “Anonio Roccos Der Schüler Alkibiades: Ein Buch und seine Leser,” Forum Homosexualität und Literatur 40 (2002): 99–110.Google Scholar
  99. 127.
    Denis Diderot, “Rameau’s Nephew”, in Rameau’s Nephew and D’Alembert’s Dream, trans. Leonard Tancock (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966), pp. 33–130. Citations of this translation by page number appear in the text, followed by page citations of the French edition: Le Neveu de Rameau in Diderot, Oeuvres romanesques, ed. Henri Bénac (Paris: Garnier, 1962), pp. 395–492.Google Scholar
  100. 128.
    For an interesting overview of Plato’s influence on Diderot, see Mihály Szívós, “Le rôle des motifs socratiques et platoniciens dans la structure et la genèse du Neveu de Rameau de Diderot,” Recherches sur Diderot et sur l’Encyclopédie 20 (1996): 39–55.Google Scholar
  101. See also David Lee, “Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau: A Socratic Dialogue,” Publications of the Missouri Philological Association 10 (1985): 13–20.Google Scholar
  102. 129.
    Jane Rush, “Diderot, Socrate, et l’esthétique de la farce dans Le Neveu de RameauEighteenth-Century Fiction 6 (1993): 47–64 reaches a similar conclusion.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. 130.
    See Diderot, Neveu, pp. 98–105, pp. 83–84; pp. 464–470, pp. 448–449. Michael Prince, Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment: Theology, Aesthetics and the Novel (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1996) focuses on England, but Prince’s observations on the eighteenth century’s varying appropriations of Socrates and the Platonic tradition, pp. 163–189, is helpful nonetheless.Google Scholar
  104. Specifically on Diderot’s use of the dialogue form, see also H. R. Jauss, “Le Neveu de Rameau: Dialogue et dialectique; ou: Diderot lecteur de Socrate et Hegel lecteur de Diderot,” Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 89 (1984): 145–181Google Scholar
  105. Pierre Hartmann, “Remarques sur les procédés et la fonction du dialogue dans Le neveu de RameauL’Information littéraire 44.2 (March–April, 1992): 29–31Google Scholar
  106. Anthony Wall, “Bakhtine et Diderot: à propos du Neveu de Rameau,” Recherches sur Diderot et sur l’Encyclopédie 17 (1994): 83–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. James E. Fowler, “‘Je m’entretiens avec moi-même’: Self versus Other in Le Neveu de RameauDalhousie French Studies 42 (Spring, 1998): 77–87 traces the theme of sameness and difference in Diderot’s dialogue that we have observed elsewhere in the Platonic tradition.Google Scholar
  108. 132.
    Denis Diderot, Sequel to the Conversation, in Denis Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew and D’Alembert’s Dream, trans. Leonard Tancock (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966), pp. 225–233. Citations of this translation by page number will appear in the text, followed by page citations of the French edition: Diderot, Le Rêve de d’Alembert in his Oeuvres complètes, vol. 17, ed. Jean Varloot et al. (Paris: Hermann, 1987), pp. 89–207.Google Scholar
  109. 133.
    Théodore Tarczylo, “Moral Values in ‘La suite de l’entretien,” trans. James Coke and Michael Murray, Eighteenth-Century Life 9 (1985): 43–60, finds a less positive valuation of male–male desire in Diderot, but cites no real evidence for this view.Google Scholar
  110. 134.
    On the complexities of Sade’s vision of nature, see Timo Airaksinen, The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade (New York: Routledge, 1991, repr. 1995), pp. 45–66Google Scholar
  111. Marcel Hénaff, Sade: The Invention of the Libertine Body, trans. Xavier Callahan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), suggests, however, that for Sade the concept of “nature” is merely a “screen,” pp. 130–131.Google Scholar
  112. 135.
    Margaret C. Jacob, “The Materialist World of Pornography,” in The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500–1800, ed. Lynn Hunt (New York: Zone, 1996), pp. 157–202, at 157. See also Lynn Hunt, “Pornography and the French Revolution,” in The Invention of Pornography, pp. 301–339; on Sade specifically, pp. 330–332.Google Scholar
  113. 136.
    Jacob, “Pornography,” p. 163. On the complexities of Sade’s appropriation of materialist discourse, see Caroline Warman, “The Jewels of Virtue: Sade’s Claim to the Legacy of Materialism,” Paragraph 23.1 (March, 2000): 87–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. 140.
    La Nouvelle Justine, ou les Malheurs de la Vertu, suivie de l’Histoire de Juliette, sa soeur (Paris: 1797); Marquis de Sade, Juliette, trans. Austryn Wainhouse (New York: Grove, 1968).Google Scholar
  115. 141.
    Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom, in Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, Eugénie de Franval and Other Writings, trans. Richard Seaver and Austryn Wainhouse (New York: Grove, 1965). Citations of his translation by page number appear in the text, followed by page citations of the Pléiade French edition: La Philosophie dans le boudoir, in Sade, Oeuvres, vol. 3, ed. Michel Delon (Paris: Gallimard, 1998), pp. 1–178. The question of Sade’s value for women has generated a voluminous critical literature. Certain feminist critics, such as Angela Carter, find in Sade a subversive possibility for women’s sexual liberation, though even Carter suggests that both the passive Justine and the active Juliette “are women whose identities have been defined exclusively by men”:Google Scholar
  116. Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography: An Exercise in Cultural History (1979; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001), p. 77. See also Hénaff, who understands La Philosophie dans le boudoir as an assault on the “monogamous family system,” based on male power and the confinement of female sexuality, Sade, pp. 272–273 (and compare Carter, Sadeian Woman, pp. 118–133);Google Scholar
  117. Robert L. Mazzola, “Sade’s Woman: Essential Pornogony and Virtual Embodiment,” in Gender Reconstructions: Pornography and Perversions in Literature and Culture (Aldershot, Eng.: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 108–124Google Scholar
  118. Sabine Wilke, “The Sexual Woman and her struggle for Sexuality: Cruel Women in Sade, Sacher-Masoch, and Treut,” Women in German Yearbook 14 (1999): 245–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Jane Gallop, “Sade, Mothers, and Other Women,” in Sade and the Narrative of Transgression, ed. David B. Allison, Mark S. Roberts, and Allen S. Weiss (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 122–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Cautionary notes regarding Sade’s value to feminism are sounded by Kristin Roodenburg, “Sade and Feminism,” Restant 21 (1993): 259–271; “Beat Me! Beat Me!: Feminists and Sade,” ENclitic 11.4 (1989): 62–72.Google Scholar
  121. For a feminist reading of La Philosophie dans le boudoir specifically, see Jane Gallop, The Daughter’s Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982), pp. 82–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Gallop’s observations take the form of a commentary on two further texts: Luce Irigaray, “‘Frenchwomen, Stop Trying,’” in her This Sex Which is Not One (1977), trans. Catherine Porter with Caroline Burke (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985), pp. 198–204,Google Scholar
  123. and Jacques Lacan, “Kant avec Sade” (1963), repr. in his Écrits [1966; repr. as Écrits, 2 vols. (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1971)], vol. 2, pp. 119–148. Most critics assume, as I do, that Dolmancé is Sade’s spokesman; see, for example, Simone de Beauvoir’s classic essay “Must We Burn Sade?,” trans.Google Scholar
  124. Annette Michelson, in Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings, compiled and trans. Austryn Wainhouse and Richard Seaver (New York: Grove, 1966), pp. 3–64, at pp. 10–11,Google Scholar
  125. and more recently, Neil Schaeffer, The Marquis de Sade: A Life (1999; rpt. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 455–461.Google Scholar
  126. 142.
    Writing of Dolmancé’s relationship with this female disciples, Carter suggests that “since he is good enough to class them with the masters, they, too, will be permitted to tyrannise as much as they please,” p. 143. Roland Barthes, Sade, Fourier, Loyola, trans. Richard Miller (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), notes that “Sade’s adventures … take place in a real world contemporary with the time of Sade’s youth,” and that Sade uses contemporary class relationships “not as an image to be portrayed, but as a model to be reproduced” (pp. 130–131; emphasis in text).Google Scholar
  127. On Barthes’ engagement with Sade, see Philippe Roger, “Traitement de faveur (Barthes lecteur de Sade),” Nottingham French Studies 36.1 (Spring 1997): 34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  128. Bertrand du Chambon, “Un Eros masculin,” (Pre)Publications 91 (November 1984): 20–25. Hénaff sees Sade’s works as a disruption of the class system, pp. 7–8.Google Scholar
  129. 145.
    See Schaeffer, Marquis de Sade, pp. 126–130, for an account of the entire Marseilles incident, and p. 139 for its legal consequences. See also Laurence L. Bongie, Sade: A Biographical Essay (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 129–138, for a less sympathetic account, and pp. 81–83 for Sade’s earlier “homosexual” experiences.Google Scholar
  130. 147.
    Schaeffer, Marguis de Sade, p. 135. On the question of Sade’s “bisexuality,” see also Donald E. Hall, “Graphic Sexuality and the Erasure of a Polymorphous Perversity,” in RePresenting Bisexualities: Subjects and Cultures of Fluid Desire, ed. Donald E. Hall and Maria Pramaggiore (New York: New York University Press, 1996), pp. 99–123.Google Scholar
  131. 149.
    Carter, Sadeian Woman, p. 116. William F. Edmiston, “Shifting Ground: Sade, Same-Sex Desire, and the One-, Two-, and Three-Sex Models,” in Illicit Sex: Identity Politics in Early Modern Culture, ed. Thomas DiPiero and Pat Gill (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1997), pp. 143–160, argues that Sade understands same-sex desire both as a “taste” and as an identity.Google Scholar
  132. 151.
    Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender fom the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), p. 149.Google Scholar
  133. 155.
    William F. Edmiston, “Nature, Sodomy, and Semantics in Sade’s La Philosophie dans le boudoir,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 24 (1995): 121–136 argues that “Nature” is for Sade so multivalent that it fails as a moral category, and goes so far as to suggest that Sade may be intentionally parodying the naturalist position.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  134. 161.
    Albert W. Levi, “Philosophy as Literature: the Dialogue,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 9, no. 1 (1976): 1–20, at p. 11.Google Scholar
  135. 164.
    Cf. Barthes’ remarks on “libertine solitude,” p. 16, and Georges Bataille’s essay on “De Sade’s Sovereign Man,” in his Erotism: Death and Sensuality, trans. Mary Dalwood (San Francisco: City Lights, 1986), pp. 164–176.Google Scholar
  136. Lucienne Frappier-Mazur, Writing the Orgy: Power and Parody in Sade (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), suggests that for Sade the orgy scene itself eliminates difference in favor of orgiastic indistinction, pp. 11–57.Google Scholar
  137. 165.
    Gilles Deleuze, Sacher-Masoch: An Interpretation (London: Faber, 1971), p. 18. My attention was drawn to this passage by Glenn Burger, Chaucer’s Queer Nation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), p. 26. Cf. Barthes’ contention that “erotic energy is renewed” in the pause for such a dissertation in Sade’s other works, p. 146.Google Scholar
  138. 166.
    Cf. Barthes: “the agent is not he who has power or pleasure, but he who controls the direction of the scene and the sentence,” p. 31. Henri Blanc, “Sur le statut du dialogue dans l’oeuvre de Sade,” Dix-Huitième Siècle 4 (1972): 301–314 also understands La Philosophie dans le boudoir as essentially mono-logical;Google Scholar
  139. and cf. Béatrice Didier, “Sade et le dialogue philosophique,” Cahiers de l’Association Internationale des Etudes Françaises 24 (1972): 59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  140. See also Claude Lefort, “Sade: The Boudoir and the City,” South Atlantic Quarterly 95 (1996): 1009–1028, which argues that the Sadeian impulse to corruption is by definition not solipsisticGoogle Scholar
  141. whereas Scott Carpenter, “Sade and the Problem of Closure: Keeping Philosophy in the Bedroom,” Neophilologus 75 (1991): 519–528 argues that this drive to contamination is contained by an equally powerful drive for closure.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  142. 167.
    As Barthes points out, Augustin the gardener is excluded from the reading of the “revolutionary” pamphlet, p. 159; see also Bongie, pp. 226–227. Marcel Hénaff gives the treatise a more straightforward political reading, pp. 250–251, but see also Hénaff’s later essay, “Naked Terror: Political Violence, Libertine Violence,” SubStance 27.2 (1998): 5–32, which links Sade’s revolutionary rhetoric to his solipsism.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  143. On Sade’s debt to contemporary revolutionary politics and pamphleteering, see Maurice Blanchot, “Français, encore un effort,” Nouvelle revue française 13 (154) (1965): 600–618Google Scholar
  144. Michel Delon, “L’Invention Sadienne et les pamphlets révolutionnaires,” in Le Travail des lumières: pour Georges Benrekessa, ed. Caroline Jacot Grapa et al. (Paris: Champion, 2002), pp. 557–568.Google Scholar
  145. 168.
    Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1980), p. 149.Google Scholar
  146. My attention was drawn to this and the following quotation by James Miller, The Passion of Michel Foucault (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), p. 244.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert S. Sturges 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Sturges

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations