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 Topic: Literary Sissies

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Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 1
Interests: Romantic narratives
Physical Location: Atlanta GA

Posted: 16 May 2006, 8:21 pm    Post subject: Literary Sissies Reply with quote

I am working on an essay on Cherubino, Mozart's (and Beaumarchais's) popular character from _The Marriage of Figaro_. In the opera, he seems to occupy two worlds. On the one hand, he is a page & teenage adolescent in love with every woman--his mere presence in the Countess's chambers provides the basis for the play's comedy, as he must be hidden from the Count. On the other hand, he seems perfectly at ease (in his element) in the women's quarters, delighted when dressed as a woman--a situation only underscored by the fact that his is a trousers role (sung by a woman). Mozart's Cherubino, in other words, is close to being an archetypal literary sissy.

I am interested in ideas folks might have about the general category of literary sissies, from drama and elsewhere. I have not been able to find a book or even a comprehensive article yet on the topic, although I am only just now pursuing Summers's study, _Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment England_. What I have not found is a book that seems to deal with the topic of literary sissies as clearly as Judith Halberstam's book deals with its opposite: _Female Masculinity_.

Thanks for any suggestions in advance.
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