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Alain de Lille, <i>De planctu Naturae</i>: Varied Colors of Venereal Discourse

David Rollo

in Kiss My Relics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780226724614
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226724607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226724607.003.0007
Alain de Lille, De planctu Naturae: Varied Colors of Venereal Discourse

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The necessary recourse to falsigraphia brings pleasures of its own. These, obviously, differ from the joys Nature professes to have attempted to institute when God created her as his amanuensis. But whatever such delights may have been is now unknown and unknowable, and full reconciliation with the post-lapsarian world entails a willingness to find beauty in the vulgar whorehouse inhabited by man. Here, Nature is a participant in activities she claims to abhor, yet in this case her grammar of revulsion is contradicted by a rhetorical opulence of unmatched virtuosity. Nature must, in short, permit herself to be read, with all of the resonances of prostitution such permission entails. To emphasize the whoredom from which she speaks, Nature uses a sexual metaphor to explain the criterion she will employ when choosing her words.

Keywords: venereal discourse; Nature; post-lapsarian world; whorehouse; sexual metaphor; falsigraphia

Chapter.  7397 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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