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Before Intimacy: Asocial Sexuality in Early Modern England by Daniel Juan Gil

By Daniel Juan Gil

Before the eighteenth-century upward thrust of the ideology of intimacy, sexuality was once outlined now not by means of social affiliations yet by way of our bodies. In Before Intimacy, Daniel Juan Gil examines sixteenth-century English literary strategies of sexuality that body erotic ties as neither sure by means of social customs nor transgressive of them, yet quite as “loopholes” in people’s reports and associations. 

Engaging the poems of Wyatt, Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Spenser’s Amoretti and The Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and the Sonnets, Gil demonstrates how sexuality used to be conceived as a dating process inhabited via women and men interchangeably—set except the “norm” and never institutionalized in a personal or household realm. Going past the sodomy-as-transgression analytic, he asserts the lifestyles of socially inconsequential sexual bonds whereas spotting the pleasant results of violating the meant conventional modes of bonding and beliefs of common humanity and social hierarchy. 

Celebrating the facility of corporeal feelings to interpret connections among those who proportion not anything by way of societal constitution, Before Intimacy indicates how those works of early sleek literature offer a discourse of sexuality that strives to appreciate prestige changes in erotic contexts and thereby query key assumptions of modernity. 

Daniel Juan Gil is assistant professor of English at TCU.

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