By Simon Goldhill

This can be a examine of the way intercourse and sexuality have been written approximately within the first centuries of this period, a principal interval within the historical past of sexuality. Writing with a similar wit and verve because the historic writers he engages with, Simon Goldhill indicates how the normal money owed of sexuality during this interval are distorted through ignoring the attractive, ironic and infrequently strange texts of the traditional novel, erotic poetry and funny dialogues.

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Extra info for Foucault's Virginity: Ancient Erotic Fiction and the History of Sexuality (The Stanford Memorial Lectures)

Example text

The first two books of Plato's Laws, however, perhaps provide the founding document in that Plato's lengthy discussion aims to defend the educational value of the symposium and its wine-drinking from a theoretical perspective. ) Although this debate, typically for Plato, places leisure under the auspices of the order of the city and the training of the citizen, it does not explicitly consider the place of jesting/joking (beyond the definition of 'phy', paidia, as 'harmless pleasure' (667c) - and there are very few pleasures that escape Platonic regulation.

Although the interpretation is explicitly marked as led by the interpreter's desire, the vocabulary is itself telling. 'The wounds of defloration' declare a recognition of a violence in the transition from parthenos to gune. 24). Heliodorus' dream interpreter is drawing on a common analogy in his interpretation of defloration as a wounding and a slaughter that does not kill. Lycainion's language, then, is perhaps a slightly exaggerated version of a standard set of terms to image the act of penetration.

Winkler's explicit methodological discussion and sensitive account of the sexual politics of violence may seem pleasantly removed from Edmonds' Victorian sophrosune as a response to the didacticism of the erotic narrative. Yet, as will be seen, 'We "Other Victorians"' are not so easily distinguished as exegetes of desire. Let us trace first how Winkler uncovers his lesson on violence and sexuality. Daphnis and Chloe is different from the other novels (and from the history and epic it echoes) in the level of violence it represents.

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