By Mark Albert Johnston
Focusing on representations of beards in English Renaissance tradition, this examine elucidates how fetish gadgets validate ideological structures of strength via materializing complicated worth in a number of registers. supplying particular discussions of not just bearded males but in addition beardless boys, bearded girls, and half-bearded hermaphrodites, writer Mark Albert Johnston argues that attending heavily to early sleek English culture's remedy of the beard as a fetish item eventually exposes the contingency of different types like intercourse, gender, age, race, and sexuality.
Johnston mines a various cross-section of up to date discourses—adult and children’s drama, narrative verse and prose, well known ballads, epigrams and proverbs, ancient bills, pamphlet literature, diaries, letters, wills, court docket files and felony records, clinical and surgical manuals, lectures, sermons, almanacs, and calendars—in order to supply evidence for his cultural claims. Johnston’s proof invokes the various period’s most famed voices—William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Lyly, Phillip Stubbes, John Marston, George Chapman, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, and Samuel Pepys, for example—but Johnston additionally introduces us to an array of lesser-known Renaissance authors and playwrights whose works aid the idea that the beard used to be a palimpsestic web site of contested which means at which complicated and contradictory values conflict and converge.
Johnston’s interpreting of Marxist, Freudian, and anthropological theories of the fetish phenomenon recognizes their divergent emphases—erotic, fiscal, racial and religious—while suggesting that the imbrication of numerous registers that fetish accomplishes enables its cultural and psychic naturalizing function.
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Extra resources for Beard Fetish in Early Modern England: Sex, Gender, and Registers of Value (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)
Beard Fetish in Early Modern England: Sex, Gender, and Registers of Value (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World) by Mark Albert Johnston