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The Subject of Desire

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1996-08-01
  • Publisher: Purdue Univ Pr
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The French Renaissance poet Louise Labe is one of the most striking and influential women writers of early modern Europe. In her broad-ranging volume of prose and poetic works (1555), Labe transforms the position of woman in Renaissance discourse from an object to a subject of erotic and artistic desire and privileges the notion of desire itself as a central issue for literary and psychic exploration.
Deborah Lesko Baker presents the dramatic creation and evolution of female subjectivity in Labe as a passionate quest for internal selfhood made possible through both authentic self-expression and interaction with others. In so doing she analyzes how the development of the female subject coincides with an ongoing interrogation of the inherited models of the Petrarchan lyric tradition.

Author Biography

Deborah Lesko Baker is an associate professor of French at Georgetown University.

Table of Contents

Foreword: A Space of One's Own
Note on Editions and Translations
Introductionp. 1
Entering the Literary Stage: The Epistre to Mademoiselle Clemence de Bourges, Lyonnaisep. 11
From Polemics to Poetics: The Debat de Folie et d'Amourp. 41
Loss and Legitimation: Labe's Elegiac Voicep. 91
Transcending Petrarchan Poetics: Labe's Sonnets and the Rebirth of the Lyric Speakerp. 125
Conclusionp. 163
Appendix: English Translationsp. 169
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 233
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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