The author employs feminist stylistics, along with language & gender and language & sexuality, to explore a number of erotic limericks which appeared in the first issue of The Pearl, a Victorian pornographic magazine published from 1879 to 1881. The author examines the language of sexuality and of eroticism in the poems, and how it is employed to describe the bodies and actions of the female, male and even animal characters portrayed in the texts under scrutiny, ironically called “nursery rhymes” by their anonymous author(s). In the introductory section to her article, the author presents the pornographic magazine The Pearl, also called A Journal of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading, and introduces Victorian sexuality and masculinity, while clearly stating the objectives of her study. She then analyses the discursive structure and the textual genre of the limerick, concentrating on the prototypical addresser-addressee interaction in relation to the function of the genre itself and to the textual achievement of hyperbolic comedy. Next she investigates the lexical level of the ‘nursery rhymes’, focussing principally on the nature of sexual desire and on the use of coarse language and lexemes denoting or referring to body parts; she then treats the resulting strategy of cropping and the commodification of human bodies. Finally she discusses the erotic poems through the deployment of Hallidayan functional grammar, more precisely of the experiential metafunction, scrutinising those “prototypical and non-prototypical realisations of functional process types and participants that effectively convey sexuality on the one hand and male dominance of female figures on the other”, and analysing how that male control is wielded over females and animals. The author’s ultimate aim is to show how the models of femininity and of masculinity represented in the erotic limericks are the product of a hegemonic chauvinist ideology teamed up with a dominant heterosexual ideology; at the same time, she demonstrates that masculine hegemony is created and maintained through the denial of femininity, namely, through compliance with the value system of Victorian white military masculinity. The linguistic application in the diachronic context which is implied confirms the appropriacy of stylistics as an analytical tool which can confirm or reject hypotheses formed by others as well as by its own research.

Sexuality, Masculinities & Co. in the Limericks from the Victorian Erotic Magazine The Pearl

VIRDIS, DANIELA FRANCESCA
2010

Abstract

The author employs feminist stylistics, along with language & gender and language & sexuality, to explore a number of erotic limericks which appeared in the first issue of The Pearl, a Victorian pornographic magazine published from 1879 to 1881. The author examines the language of sexuality and of eroticism in the poems, and how it is employed to describe the bodies and actions of the female, male and even animal characters portrayed in the texts under scrutiny, ironically called “nursery rhymes” by their anonymous author(s). In the introductory section to her article, the author presents the pornographic magazine The Pearl, also called A Journal of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading, and introduces Victorian sexuality and masculinity, while clearly stating the objectives of her study. She then analyses the discursive structure and the textual genre of the limerick, concentrating on the prototypical addresser-addressee interaction in relation to the function of the genre itself and to the textual achievement of hyperbolic comedy. Next she investigates the lexical level of the ‘nursery rhymes’, focussing principally on the nature of sexual desire and on the use of coarse language and lexemes denoting or referring to body parts; she then treats the resulting strategy of cropping and the commodification of human bodies. Finally she discusses the erotic poems through the deployment of Hallidayan functional grammar, more precisely of the experiential metafunction, scrutinising those “prototypical and non-prototypical realisations of functional process types and participants that effectively convey sexuality on the one hand and male dominance of female figures on the other”, and analysing how that male control is wielded over females and animals. The author’s ultimate aim is to show how the models of femininity and of masculinity represented in the erotic limericks are the product of a hegemonic chauvinist ideology teamed up with a dominant heterosexual ideology; at the same time, she demonstrates that masculine hegemony is created and maintained through the denial of femininity, namely, through compliance with the value system of Victorian white military masculinity. The linguistic application in the diachronic context which is implied confirms the appropriacy of stylistics as an analytical tool which can confirm or reject hypotheses formed by others as well as by its own research.
Stylistic; Gender and sexuality; c19
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/15528
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