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Rochester's Libertinism and the Pleasure of Debility

Kavanagh, Declan (2021) Rochester's Libertinism and the Pleasure of Debility. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 50 . pp. 319-324. ISSN 0360-2370. E-ISSN 1938-6133. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82546)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/378

Abstract

What might it mean to recast Anglophone male libertine poetry as a poetics of impairment? As an erotic discourse which foregrounds the sensory body, libertine writing is deeply invested in representations of the erotic body and its pleasures. Yet, the male body that is erotically emplaced in libertine discourse is rarely an able one. From the Earl of Rochester’s self-described cankered and weepy phallus to Charles Churchill’s syphilitic oozing sores to James Boswell’s raging gonorrhea infection, sexual disease imaginatively infects libertine language just as it also, in a more material sense, courses through libertine practices. Taking recent theorizations of debility as its starting point, this article engages with a well-known poem attributed to John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, “The Maimed Debauchee”, in order to trace how the libertine’s experience of debility registers as a privileged form of erotic embodiment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Libertine; Rochester; Disability; Debility; Sexuality; Poetry; Restoration; Masculinity.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Declan Kavanagh
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2020 09:06 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 14:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82546 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kavanagh, Declan: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1938-7327
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