Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice

By Courtney Quaintance

© 2015

Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is a provocative analysis of the pornographic poetry written in patrician poet Domenico Venier’s social circle. While Venier and his salon were renowned for elegant love sonnets featuring unattainable female beloveds, among themselves they wrote and circulated poems in Venetian dialect in which women were prostitutes whose defiled bodies were available to all.

Courtney Quaintance analyses poetry, letters, plays, and verse dialogues to show how male writers established, sustained, and publicized their relationships to one another through the exchange of fictional women. She also shows how Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco, two women writers with ties to the salon, appropriated and transformed tropes of female sexuality and male literary collaboration to position themselves within this homosocial literary economy. Based on archival work and Quaintance’s exceptional knowledge of Venetian dialect poetry, Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is an unprecedented window into the understudied world of Venetian literature.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003897

  • PUBLISHED APR 2015

    From: $54.00

    Regular Price: $72.00

    ISBN 9781442649132
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2015

    From: $54.00

    Regular Price: $72.00

Quick Overview

Based on archival work and Quaintance’s exceptional knowledge of Venetian dialect poetry, Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is an unprecedented window into the understudied world of Venetian literature.

Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice

By Courtney Quaintance

© 2015

Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is a provocative analysis of the pornographic poetry written in patrician poet Domenico Venier’s social circle. While Venier and his salon were renowned for elegant love sonnets featuring unattainable female beloveds, among themselves they wrote and circulated poems in Venetian dialect in which women were prostitutes whose defiled bodies were available to all.

Courtney Quaintance analyses poetry, letters, plays, and verse dialogues to show how male writers established, sustained, and publicized their relationships to one another through the exchange of fictional women. She also shows how Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco, two women writers with ties to the salon, appropriated and transformed tropes of female sexuality and male literary collaboration to position themselves within this homosocial literary economy. Based on archival work and Quaintance’s exceptional knowledge of Venetian dialect poetry, Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is an unprecedented window into the understudied world of Venetian literature.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Quintances’ translations are lively and effective… We have much to learn from the material she analyzes.’


    Mary Gallucci
    Renaissance Quarterly vol 69:04:2016

    ‘This book is a major contribution to the field of early modern gender studies and a groundbreaking text that brilliantly approaches the understudies issues related to masculine identity.’


    Chiara Girardi
    Gender/Sexuality/Italy vol 4:2017

    Textual Masculinities is full of new information, even about well-known subjects like Stampa and Franco… It includes a wealth of Venetian poetry that she has translated and published for the first time.’


    Deanna Shemek
    Early Modern Women Journal vol 12:01:2017

    ‘Textual Masculinity is an important work providing innovative, more sophisticated, and broader understanding of the production of literature on women in sixteenth-century Venice. It will have to be taken into account in any future study the Renaissance Venetian literary world.’


    Paula C. Clarke
    Journal of Modern History vol 89:02:2017

    Textual Masculinity elegantly weaves together social class and language, and cultures of manuscript exchange and print, academies and libertinism, in the late Venetian Renaissance.’


    Holly S. Hurlburt
    Renaissance and Reformation, vol 39:02:2016

    Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice is a powerful and exciting book. A thought-provoking study of the homosocial circuits and writing in which ferocious misogyny and murderous contempt bonded men against women, Courtney Quaintance’s work is lucid and approachable. Her expertise in Venetian dialect makes this study stand out in work on sixteenth-century Italian poetry, as does her painstaking archival work on manuscript writings and biographical data identifying the writers she analyses.”


    Ann Rosalind Jones, Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature, Smith College

    “Courtney Quaintance’s book will change the way scholars think of early modern pornographic literature. Her broad and meticulous research shows that these texts were not merely dalliances that circulated in dark corners. They were integral to the formation of important networks of men, and informed the public literary endeavours of these individuals.”


    Gerry Milligan, Department of World Languages and Literatures, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
  • Author Information

    Courtney Quaintance is an associate professor in the Department of French and Italian at Dartmouth College.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Writing the Whore in Renaissance Venice

    1. Gang Rape and Literary Fame

    2. Fictional Ladies and Literary Fraternity

    3. The Erotics of Venetian Dialect

    4. Dialect and Homosociality from Manuscript to Print

    5. Women Writers Between Men