Advertisement

The Body in Wonder: Affective Suspension and Medieval Queer Futurity

  • Wan-Chuan Kao
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism book series (PSATLC)

Abstract

This chapter argues that Chaucer in The Franklin’s Tale deploys wonder as an affective script that enfolds shame and creates its own reality. As a complex affective phenomenon that is somatic and cognitive, suspensive and mobile, stupefying and animating, wonder provides a strategic alternative to paradigms of shame or hope in reading premodern queer subject formation and futurity. Wonder as a queer temporal strategy suspends the present but also gestures toward an inscrutable future that is neither anti-relational nor utopic. Premodern queerness, in this instance, resides in the subject’s non-coincidence with declensions of the first, second, and third person. That is, the queer occupies the position of the fourth-person singular: the space of maximum attention and singular vitality that counters the disciplinary regime of marriage.

References

  1. Ahmed, Sara. 2010. Happy Objects. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, 29–51. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Albertus, Magnus. 1960. Metaphysica. In Opera Omnia, t. 16. vol. 1, ed. B. Geyer. Aschendorff: Monasterium Westfalorum in Aedibus Aschendorff.Google Scholar
  3. Austin, J.L. 1962. How to Do Things with Words. Ed. J.O. Urmson and Marina Sbisá. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bertelsen, Lone, and Andrew Murphie. 2010. An Ethics of Everyday Infinities and Powers: Félix Guattari on Affect and the Refrain. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, 138–157. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bynum, Caroline Walker. 1997. Wonder. In Metamorphosis and Identity, 37–75. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  6. Cartlidge, Neil. 1997. Medieval Marriage: Literary Approaches, 1100–1300. Woodbridge: Brewer.Google Scholar
  7. Chaucer, Geoffrey. 1987. The Canterbury Tales. In The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  8. Crocker, Holly A. 2017. Medieval Affects Now. Exemplaria 29 (1): 82–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daston, Lorraine, and Katharine Park. 2001. Wonders and the Order of Nature. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  10. Deleuze, Gilles. 1988. A Philosophical Concept. Topoi 7 (2): 111–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ———. 1990. The Logic of Sense. Trans. M. Lester. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2002. Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life. Trans. Anne Boyman. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  13. D’Avray, D.L. 2005. Medieval Marriage: Symbolism and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edelman, Lee. 2004. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Esposito, Roberto. 2008. Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy. Trans. Timothy Campbell. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  16. Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. 2001. To the Oracle at Delphi. In San Francisco Poems, 79–81. San Francisco: City Lights.Google Scholar
  17. Fradenburg, L.O. Aranye. 2004. Simply Marvelous. Studies in the Age of Chaucer 26: 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gregg, Melissa, and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds. 2010. The Affect Theory Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hansen, Mark. 2004. The Time of Affect, or Bearing Witness to Life. Critical Inquiry 30 (3): 584–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hesse, Ewa, and Hennric Jokeit. 2009. Neurocapitalism. Trans. M. Newton. Eurozine (November 24).Google Scholar
  21. Kao, Wan-Chuan. 2012. Conduct Shameful and Unshameful in The Franklin’s Tale. Studies in the Age of Chaucer 34: 99–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. King, Peter. 2012. Emotions. In The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas, ed. Brian Davies and Eleonore Stump, 209–226. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Knuuttila, Simo. 2004. Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Le Goff, Jacques. 1988. The Medieval Imagination. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lochrie, Karma. 2006. Sheer Wonder: Dreaming Utopia in the Middle Ages. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36 (3): 493–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Love, Heather. 2007. Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Massumi, Brian. 2002. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCarthy, Conor. 2004. Marriage in Medieval England: Law, Literature, and Practice. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  29. McNamer, Sarah. 2007. Feeling. In Middle English: Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature, ed. Paul Strohm, 241–257. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 2010. Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 2015. The Literariness of Literature and the History of Emotion. PMLA 130 (5): 1433–1442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Muñoz, José Esteban. 2009. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pugh, Tison. 2004. Queering Medieval Genres. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. Reddy, William M. 2001. The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosenwein, Barbara H. 2016. Generations of Feeling: A History of Emotions, 600–1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saunders, Corinne. 2016. Affective Reading: Chaucer, Women, and Romance. Chaucer Review 51 (1): 11–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sedgwick, Eve. 1993. Queer Performativity: Henry James’s The Art of the Novel. GLQ 1 (1): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Seigworth, Gregory J., and Melissa Gregg. 2010. An Inventory of Shimmers. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, 1–25. Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Sheehan, Michael M. 1996. Marriage, Family, and Law in Medieval Europe: Collected Studies. Ed. James K. Farge. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  40. Snediker, Michael D. 2008. Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  41. Spinoza, Benedict de. 1994. The Ethics. In A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works, trans. Edwin Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Thomas, Aquinas. 1920. Summa Theologiae. In The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne.Google Scholar
  43. Tomkins, Silvan S. 1962–1963. Affect, Imagery, Consciousness. 3 volumes. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  44. ———. 1987. Script Theory. In The Emergence of Personality, ed. E. Joel Arnoff, A.I. Rabin, and Robert A. Zucker, 147–216. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  45. Trigg, Stephanie. 2014. Introduction: Emotional Histories—Beyond the Personalization of the Past and the Abstraction of Affect Theory. Exemplaria 26 (1): 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yates, Frances A. 1974. The Art of Memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan-Chuan Kao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishWashington and Lee UniversityLexingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations