Queerly Productive: Women and Collaboration in Cambridge, University Library, MS Ff. 1. 6.
- Allen-Goss, Lucy.
- Queerly Productive: Women and Collaboration in Cambridge, University Library, MS Ff. 1. 6.
- Allen-Goss, Lucy. "Queerly Productive: Women and Collaboration in Cambridge, University Library, MS Ff. 1. 6." postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 9 (2018), 334-48.
- Allen-Goss, focusing primarily on the fragmentary "Tale of Tereus" in the Findern manuscript, argues, "female queer desire is potentially hyper-productive, with each female body simultaneously an inscribable surface and a prosthetic pen/penis that can inscribe" (334). The Findern manuscript's compilational strategies "privilege a distinctly queer mode of female textual practice," Allen-Goss claims, and she identifies the placement of the names Elizabeth Cotton and Elizabeth Francis as a memorial to "female-female collaboration" within this manuscript (335). Allen-Goss uses Anna Klosowska's “Queer Love in the Middle Ages” to inform her queer reading of female collaboration on the feminized page as well as work by Anne Laskaya that posits the potential of "female interactions with books in terms of queer erotics" (336). Allen-Goss suggests that women writing is a form of "pleasuring" the female page (337). The competing hands of men are just that--competing--while women's competing hands suggest female queer desire. Allen-Goss focuses on the story of Philomena in Gower's CA in the Findern manuscript that is "widely marked by textual recombinations, excisions, and reassemblies . . . as being particularly typical of women's manuscript culture" (338). In Findern, the "Tale of Tereus" begins when Tereus realizes he has just eaten Itys, and Allen-Goss calls Philomena's speech after she has been violated by Tereus "penetrative." Because this tale is removed from the prologue of the CA in Findern, Allen-Goss suggests, "Philomena is placed at the origin point of a new and female tradition of textual interpretation, her words mediated through female authorities" (341). The omissions in this manuscript version create a female-centric experience of this tale that excludes male authority. When considered in the context of the texts that follow Gower's in the Findern manuscript, especially Chaucer's “Parliament of Fowles,” Philomena's song is for women, and, according to Allen-Goss, the "queer erotic" of this lyric is echoed in the female collaboration of the manuscript between Cotton and Francis (343-44).] [JS. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 38.2.]
- Gower Subjects
- Confessio Amantis
Manuscripts and Textual Studies