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Between Medieval MenMale Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature$
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David Clark

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558155.001.0001

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Unorthodox Desire: The Anonymous Life of Euphrosyne and the Colloquies of Ælfric Bata

Unorthodox Desire: The Anonymous Life of Euphrosyne and the Colloquies of Ælfric Bata

Chapter:
(p.195) 10 Unorthodox Desire: The Anonymous Life of Euphrosyne and the Colloquies of Ælfric Bata
Source:
Between Medieval Men
Author(s):

David Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558155.003.0011

The final chapter then analyses at length the anonymous Life of Euphrosyne, which, although exhibiting some of the anxieties we find in Ælfric's work, is more open about the possibility of same‐sex desire within the monastery and, as such, presents rich possibilities for transgressive readings of the text and the reappropriation of the sexual desire it seeks to exclude. The chapter continues with an examination of the Colloquies of Ælfric Bata, which may exhibit a pragmatic and relaxed attitude to same‐sex relations more characteristic of many religious establishments not overseen by strict moralists such as Bata's tutor and namesake, Ælfric of Eynsham. It concludes by summarizing the findings of the individual chapters to characterize Anglo‐Saxon England's unique literary dynamic in terms of the uneasy yet productive interaction of issues of gender and sexuality, secular and religious, individual and community.

Keywords:   Euphrosyne, anxiety, same‐sex desire, transgressive, reappropriation, Ælfric Bata, pragmatism, gender, sexuality, community, individual

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