Gallantry and Matrimonial Heterosexuality: Love and Friendship in Scudéry’s Carte de Tendre (1654)

Matthieu Dupas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article reads Scudéry’s Carte de Tendre from the viewpoint of the history of sexuality. Scholars have argued that Scudéry’s map, by implementing a reconfiguration of emotions, paves the way for modern affective subjectivity. I suggest that by virtue of a deferral of sex typical of gallantry, the Carte de Tendre pictures a tension between two economies of feelings in relation to sex: two erotics. While drawing on a homoerotic conception of friendship — redefined as “tender friendship” once women are given access to it — the map points to a modern de-eroticized, or heterosocial, definition of friendship in contrast with (hetero)sexual love. It suggests that the access of women to friendship in seventeenth-century France has played an important role in the development of sexuality as a heteronormative apparatus in the modern era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-144
Number of pages15
JournalExemplaria
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Scudéry
  • friendship
  • galanterie
  • gender
  • heterosexuality
  • love
  • “préciosité”
  • “tendre”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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