The Cambridge Companion to Erotic Literature offers an introduction to key debates in the study of erotic literature from antiquity to the present. It addresses one of the longest standing controversies in literary history: the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable treatments of human sexuality. Whether scurrilous Roman satire, irreverent Restoration drama, or bold Modernist novel, erotic literature pushes the boundaries of the acceptable and challenges the conventions of more mainstream literatures. In fifteen chapters that range from ancient Greece and Rome to twentieth-century American, English, French, and Dutch literature, experts in the field confront a variety of related topics, such as the definition and scope of erotic literature, the nature of textual pleasure, historical shifts in the understanding of the normal and the perverse, the relationship between gender and genre, sexual violence, homosexuality, sadomasochism, necrophilia, satire, pornography, etc. Students new to the scholarship are provided with a clear and useful introduction; those already familiar with the field are given an exciting glimpse into the most recent work.
Bradford K. Mudge is the author of Sara Coleridge, a Victorian Daughter (1989) and The Whore's Story: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel, 1684-1830 (2000); and the editor of British Romantic Novelists, 1789-1832 (1992) and When Flesh Becomes Word: An Anthology of Early Eighteenth-Century Libertine Literature (2004). In addition, he has published numerous essays on eighteenth-century English art and literature.
1. Eros and Literature Bradford K. Mudge; 2. Classical Antiquity and Modern Erotic Literature Daniel Orrells; 3. Performances of Suffering: Secular and Devotional Eros in Late Medieval Writing Sarah Salih; 4. Can a Woman Rape a Man?: Rape and the Erotic in Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis Elizabeth Robertson; 5. The Manuscript Circulation of Erotic Poetry in Early Modern England Ian Moulton; 6. The Erotic Renaissance James Grantham Turner; 7. Pornography, Procreation and Pleasure in Early Modern England Sarah Toulalan; 8. Novel Pleasure Bradford K. Mudge; 9. Erotic for Whom?: When Particular Bodies Matter to Romantic Sexuality Richard Sha; 10. Emily Dickinson in Love (With Death) Marianne Noble; 11. Erotic Bonds Among Women in Victorian Literature Deborah Lutz; 12. Guillaume Apollinaire, the Enfer Collection, and Modernist Eroto-Bibliography Collette Colligan; 13. Sade, Reage, and Transcending the Obscene Amy Wyngaard; 14. 'Nothing could stop it now!': Tennessee Williams, Suddenly Last Summer, and the Intersections of Desire David Greven; 15. Dutch Gay Novels of the 1960s and 1970s Gert Hekma.