By R. Sturges
This ebook lines the old dating among male-male erotic hope and the style of literary or philosophical discussion. It describes 3 literary-philosophical traditions, every one of which originates in a distinct Platonic discussion whose next effect could be traced, first, throughout the Roman and medieval classes; moment, in the course of the Renaissance and Enlightenment sessions; and, eventually, in the course of the smooth and postmodern classes. Sturges demonstrates that quite a few kinds of erotic deviance were otherwise valued in those diversified classes and cultures, and that discussion has continuously confirmed to be the style of selection for expressing those altering values. This research offers a important old viewpoint on present debates over where of homosexuality in glossy Western tradition.
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Extra resources for Dialogue and Deviance: Male-Male Desire in the Dialogue Genre (Plato to the Middle Ages, Plato to the Enlightenment, Plato to the Postmodern)
21, 206c). A. W. 14 But in the context of the Lysis’ plot, Socrates is also volunteering to act as Hippothales’ stand-in in the latter’s erotic pursuit of the beautiful Lysis. The ensuing dialogues on friendship thus take place in a highly eroticized context, as Hippothales learns how he may successfully pay court to the boy, allowing Socrates to act as his proxy. The fact that the first dialogue will prove unflattering to Lysis’ sense of his own value is presented not only as pedagogical in intent, but also as part of the strategy of seduction.
The presence of an evil might corrupt the good, but whatever has not yet been corrupted will, precisely because it recognizes the presence of an undesirable evil, desire the good. “Then whenever it is not yet bad, though an evil is present, this presence makes it desire [epithumein ( πιθυµεrν)] good” (p. 42, 217e). This formula points us for the first time toward deviance: the individual being described in these passages deviates from the good because of the presence of some evil; it will therefore desire the purely good, that from which it has deviated, as long as it has not been wholly corrupted by the presence of evil.
This is not unusual: Lysis prefers listening, as we have already been told, and he allows Menexenus to respond on his behalf throughout much of this second dialogue. What is unusual is for his silence to be emphasized as it is here. 19 For Socrates is about to spring a trap on his two young interlocutors. ” “It seems so,” he said. ” Now [both] Lysis and Menexenus, with difficulty, somehow nodded yes, but Hippothales radiated all sorts of colors as a result of his pleasure. (p. 50, 222a–b)20 Hippothales’ reaction at this point is the opposite of his earlier response: he feels pleasure rather than agony.
Dialogue and Deviance: Male-Male Desire in the Dialogue Genre (Plato to the Middle Ages, Plato to the Enlightenment, Plato to the Postmodern) by R. Sturges