By Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
This variation released 2015 by means of Routledge
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Extra resources for Becoming Male in the Middle Ages
432). O f course, the sultaness, as representative of the old religion, and not the conversion itself, is “responsible” for what happens to the sultan and his men, but one might still read the figure of the intransigent mother here as representing some inherent, genetic, Muslim intractability to full religious transformation. The sultan may want to become a Christian, but something in the “feminized,” gender-disordered family, realm, and religious tradition that he tries to leave behind will not allow his departure.
The bodies of the sodomites in Dante are condemned never to rest in one place, to become perpetual loci for action. Prevented from resting for even a punto, their bodies parody the possibility of becoming, a possibility that both Peter of Abano and Remigio of Florence hint at. Literally displaced, they are doomed forever to represent activity without a purpose, movement without becoming. 109) he represents the sodomites as inhabiting a place that is literally untenable. The male body is no longer a signifying corpus that collates the world, dominating it by laboring in it and by mapping it according to some of the principles that regulate that body; it becomes forced into meaningless activity.
21-22. On the depiction of Islam as a Christian “heresy,” see Norman Daniel, Islam and the West: The Making of an Image, revised ed. (Oxford: Oneworld, 1993 ), pp. 209-13; Daniel, The Arabs and Mediaeval Europe, 2nd ed. (London and New York: Longman, 1979 ), pp. W. : Harvard University Press, 1962), pp. 38-39. For a particularly rich and suggestive discussion of accusations against Jews that linked them to Muslims, to heretics, and to lepers, see the first two chapters in Carlo Ginzburg, Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches* Sabbath, trans.