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France

Covering approximately the region of modern France in western Europe, or to topics relating to French-language culture in Europe.

LHMP entry

Despite the prominence of the word “tribadism” in the article title, it has only a small focus on this topic. The overall focus is on the public reputations and images of actresses in late 18th century French (especially Parisian) society, and particularly how those reputations and images had political overtones. Prominent actresses participated in a public economy of “pop culture” that would be familiar to people today, including the availability of souveniers and being the focus of gossip rags.

Blake is looking at the history of the dildo in early modern culture not as a physical object, but as fulfilling the function of a fashion accessory. This, despite opening the conversation by stating that she is not viewing it for its symbolic purpose, but for its functional one. In passing, she notes that philosophical arguments about the function on the dildo in history have resonances with modern arguments about the symbolism and function of dildoes in lesbian relationships.

This chapter looks at two creative movements that intersected strongly with queer representation. Of these, the decadent movement was more pervasive. While centered in France, it was international in scope, while the aesthetic movement was primarily British. The author is interested in these movements in how they expressed the complexities and contradictions of developing “queer modernity.”

{The following material appears in the longer edition only.}

L'HERMAPHRODITE,

OU

LETTRE

D'ANNE GRANDJEAN

A FRANÇOISE LAMBERT SA FEMME,

Nec duo sunt, sed forma duplex; nec femina dici,

Nec puer ut possit, nec utrumque & utrumque videtur.

Ovid. Metam.

 

THE HERMAPHRODITE,

OR

LETTER

FROM ANNE GRANDJEAN

TO FRANÇOISE LAMBERT ZIR WIFE,

NOTA. Par Arrêt rendu en la Chambre de la Tournelle du Parlement de Paris, le 10 Janvier 1765, Monsieur le Procureur Général a été reçu appellant comme d'abus de la célébration du mariage d'Anne Grandjean, & ce mariage à été déclaré abusif; la Sentence de la Sénéchaussée de Lyon, sur l'accusation en profanation de Sacrement, a été infirmée, & l’Accusé a été mis hors de Cour; il lui a néanmoins été enjoint de prendre les habits de femme; avec défenses de hanter Françoise Lambert, & autres personnes du même sexe.

Mais nous avons annoncé des preuves d'un autre genre.

But we have announced evidence of another kind.

TROISIEME OBJET

Bonne foi de l'Accusé.

THIRD ISSUE

Good faith of the accused.

Il faut commencer par partir d'un point fixe; c'est que la mauvaise foi ne se présume pas, que la Justice suppose toujours l'innocence, & que pour condamner; il faut avoir contre l'Accusé des preuves de conviction.

On l'accuse d'avoir profané le Sacrement de mariage. Il ne l'a pas profané, s'il étoit de bonne foi: c'est le second objet que nous nous étions proposé de démontrer.

Zie is accused of having profaned the Sacrament of Marriage. He did not profane it, if he was in good faith: this is the second point we set out to demonstrate.

SECOND OBJECT

Point de profanation si l'Accusé étoit dans la bonne foi.

SECOND ISSUE

No profanation if the accused was in good faith.

Il est donc important ici de le faire connoître dans le détail; mais comme cette description peut tomber entre les mains de personnes dont nous craindrions d'alarmer la pudeur, nous croyons par délicatesse devoir nous servir d'une langue moins familiere.

It is thus important here to make it known in detail; but as this description can fall into the hands of people whose modesty we would fear to alarm, we believe by delicacy to have to use a less familiar language.

Abandonnons donc la cause pour nous attacher aux effets; & sans chercher à connoître par quelle raison un hermaphrodite existe, voyons ce qu'il est en effet.

Let us therefore abandon the cause and concentrate on the effects; and without seeking to know by what reason a hermaphrodite exists, let us see what he is in fact.

On en peut distinguer de trois sortes.

We can distinguish three kinds.

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