Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Classy ladies in classical literature

In general, French literature is related to classy ladies. You can imagine them wandering by the cathedral in Rouen in “The New Factory,” or in the old neighborhoods from Besancon in “Mr. Gaulard Stories.” The inns in literature also provide hospitality for the representatives of the oldest job in the world. The French monks in “Tales from the adventurous world” can be found in the company of classy ladies. Talkative, nice classy ladies are introduced by inn keepers to their guests in “New Stories”. Du Troncy’s “Formulary” presents stories in which the hints referring to “classy ladies” are very numerous and the details about their immoral adventures are very precise. The Rabelais’s pieces of drollery are obvious in these texts, as well as the misogynic references concerning both classy ladies and serious women. Mathurin R‚gnier’s twelfth satire proves to be very rich in details about classy ladies everyday lives and about the setting of a brothel where the poet arrives without any indecent intention, one stormy night.

In Paris, there is plenty of “Love Houses.” These kinds of books have been very controversial for a long time in universal literature. They have been considered obscene because of the rough words written directly.

The American researchers N. S. Karolides, M. Bald, and D. B. Sova established a top of the books that were censured out of sexuality reasons. This top appeared as well in the volume “100 forbidden books.” The Supreme court in the USA has analyzed in 1961 how much in the novel “Mrs Chatterley’s lover “is vulgarity and how much is literature. This sort of treatment was performed to a series of other books such as “Ulysses,” by James Joyce, “Lolita,” by Vladimir Nabokov, “The tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller, all of them being considered indecent.

Many books have been forbidden because they were treating or were offering clues to social phenomena that were familiar and frequent, such as prostitution or adultery: “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorn for instance.

Although none of these books can be reasonably labeled as erotic or pornographic, they were censured because of their sexual contents.

Even Shakespeare’s sonnets contain tracks of sexuality. The mysterious dark lady was his mistress. His relationship with her is almost exclusively described in a sexual context. She was that “femme fatale,” who inspired the most sensual Shakespearian sonnets.

Even if most of the people consider the presence of classy ladies a dark spot blurring classical literature brightness, they do have their charm as memorable characters like Lolita or Madam Bovary.


January 11, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Classy Woman

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