Gender and Genealogy in Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata

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Using feminist, psychoanalytic, and deconstructionist approaches to Torquato Tasso's 1581 Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered), this book argues that Tasso explored alternate modes of writing and reading by reflecting on the genealogical tales of his non-Christian women characters, Clorinda, Erminia, and Armida. They permit Tasso to explore what it might mean to ask an alternate series of questions about one's relation to the father. By examining the interpretive and ethical questions that rise from the problematic genealogies of Tasso's orphan daughters, we arrive at a better understanding of the relation between the poem's dominant ideology, on one hand, and the stories that it seeks to suspend and displace on the other.


"Through this rigorous and provocative reading of Tasso's rhetoric, Migiel offers original insights into the gender ideologies of Gerusalemme Liberata. . . . will be of considerable interest to all those interested in Italian literature, in Renaissance history and culture, and in poststructuralist theory." - Dolora Wojciehowski

"Departing from traditional readings of the epic that stress the filial relation of the masculine main characters to a patriarchal Godfredo of Boulogne, Migiel offers us brilliant and nuanced readings of Tasso's epic. . . . shows how gender itself becomes the site for ideological and political struggles in Tasso's epic as well as in debates over how to read Tasso." -- Juliana Schiesari

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